Congress likely to reject anti-dynasty provision in draft charter, says ex-SolGen

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 15 2018 11:40 PM | Updated as of Jul 01 2019 12:40 PM

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MANILA - A self-executory ban on political dynasty will likely be rejected if Congress chooses to convene as a constituent assembly (con-ass) in amending the 1987 Constitution, a constitutional law professor said Sunday. 

Former solicitor general Florin Hilbay said the public should not expect lawmakers to approve an anti-political dynasty provision for a new federal government because most of them are members of influential clans as well.

"Walang tsansa na ire-retain ng ating Kongreso 'yan kung sila ang magpapasa ng proposed constitution," Hilbay told DZMM, referring to the anti-political dynasty provision in the draft federal charter proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte's constitutional committee.

"Kung meron isang dapat baguhin sa ating Konstitusyuon, dapat 'yan ay ang anti-political dynasty amendment. At dapat gawin ng isang constitutional convention para may pag-asang pumasa," he added. 

Hilbay added that the 1987 Constitution already mandates Congress to ban political dynasties. But three decades later, the lawyer pointed out, lawmakers from both chambers have failed to pass an anti-dynasty law. 

Congress has yet to decide whether they would convene as a constituent assembly or call for a constituent convention, where people will elect delegates of a commission that will draft a new charter. 

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, head of Duterte's 22-member consultative committee on charter change, earlier said he will not endorse federalism without a provision that outright bans political dynasties. 

The charter review body's proposal, despite having Duterte's approval, will still have to undergo scrutiny in the Congress, the branch of government that is allowed to approve amendments in the 1987 Constitution.