MANILA - Proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution "virtually gives President Rodrigo Duterte dictatorial powers," a lawmaker said Tuesday.
ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said Duterte stands to gain oversight control over all the branches of government under proposed revisions to the charter since the latter would have to serve as both president and prime minister during the transition period to a federal form of government.
"He (Duterte) will practically enjoy not just executive but also supervision over the legislative, the parliament and oversight on all branches of government. He will get to appoint key positions in the judiciary," Tinio said in an interview on ANC's "Beyond Politics."
Lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have begun discussions on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution to give way to the shift to federalism, one of Duterte's key campaign promises.
Congress has been divided on how they would vote in drafting a new charter, with senators opposing a joint constituent assembly with the House.
Duterte has repeatedly expressed disinterest in extending his term if Congress manages to change the country’s Constitution towards a shift from a unitary to a federal form of government.
“[Iyung] sabi na diktador diktador, susmaryosep, ‘di ko ugali iyan,” Duterte said in a speech in Cagayan de Oro City in October 2017.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque echoed Duterte's sentiments on Tuesday, saying Congress must ensure that transitory provisions of a new Constitution would not provide for Duterte's term extension beyond 2022.