MANILA -- Members of Malacañang experts’ group that drafted a new constitution are divided on whether to still push for federalism in case Congress removes their proposed ban on political dynasties.
Former Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. on Monday said he would campaign for a federal shift even without such prohibition.
"It does not mean that when you propose a set of proposals, necessarily, everything must be accepted," he said in a forum in Manila.
"As long as there are proposals to refine the Constitution, I will support (them)."
A self-executing anti-political dynasty provision is a major component in the federal charter’s "package of reforms" drafted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s consultative committee.
Part of federalism’s "grand bargain" is for the political elite to accept a ban on dynasties if they are to enjoy more power and resources under this new system of government, said committee member Julio Teehankee.
"Everyone has to start from the same starting line," he said.
Aside from political and electoral reforms, the proposal seeks to distribute more resources such as revenue share to 16 federated regions plus the autonomous regions in the Bangsamoro and Cordillera.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who headed the committee, earlier told ANC he would not endorse a federal shift without a ban on political dynasties.
Shifting to federalism, he warned, would be a "lethal experiment" unless these families were "neutralized."
Pimentel said Puno was "entitled to his position."
Teehankee said he would withdraw support for federalism if Congress, sitting as a constituent assembly, removed the anti-political dynasty provision.