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Concom on anti-dynasty provisions: We'll see.

The consultative committee (Concom) formed by President Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution has not yet decided on its action should lawmakers totally scrap the proposed anti-political dynasty provisions.

Former chief justice and Concom member Reynato Puno said they will come up with solutions at the right time should Duterte and the lawmakers not adopt their recommendations against political dynasties.

'After we shall have re-examined and revised the 1987 Constitution, we shall be forwarding (the recommendations) to the President. I assume that there will be discussions and we will see what happens,' Puno said.

Puno's statement came after he was asked in a press conference on Tuesday if he thinks Duterte would support the Concom's proposed anti-political dynasty provisions, being the chairman of the committee.

'We will cross that bridge when we reach it,' Puno added when asked if he would recommend not to push through with federalism should lawmakers not include the anti-political dynasty provisions.

The Concom's recommendation against political dynasties is not yet final, which means that it will still be discussed and voted upon by the lawmakers, and the President has the final say on whether to accept it or not.

But Puno expressed hope that the lawmakers will adopt the anti-political dynasty provisions as an essential condition before the government shifts to federalism.

'Personally and I have said it, the prohibition against political dynasties is a sine qua non requirement, a condition precedent before we shift to federalism. And the rationale for that is self-evident,' Puno emphasized.

The Concom recently voted to regulate political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Under the Concom's provision, there will be no succession of position in political clans and no more than two positions allowed in every region or areas under the same federal state.

The Concom welcomed the statement of Vice President Leni Robredo to include groups that are opposing the government's shift to federalism.

Puno said that anti-federalism groups are welcome to submit their opposition papers and are free to appear before the committee, but only after the draft charter is finished.

'We know the objections of those who are opposed to Charter change, especially those who are opposed to the shift to federalism, but ultimately, we shall be calling on them - that is, when we have already finished drafting the Constitution,' Puno told reporters.

Robredo recently asked the Concom to include anti-federalism groups in its deliberations, saying that the best decisions will come out if all sides are heard.

But Puno emphasized that the right time for the opposition to join the deliberation is when the Concom has finished its work, pointing out that most objections to federalism are based on fear and speculation.

Concom spokesman Conrado Generoso updated reporters on Tuesday on the committee's accomplishments in the first 30 days since it was created last Feb. 19.

Generoso said that the Concom has prioritized the anti-dynasty provisions to remove the fear of some who oppose federalism as it will only be used by politicians for their political ambitions and for them to stay longer in office.

The anti-dynasty provision also serves as a pre-requisite for the transition to federalism.

Among the accomplishments are the anti-political dynasty provisions, coming up with the presidential type of government and provisions on constitutional bodies and accountabilities.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Mar 21, 2018
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