Duterte to name ex-justices in body to draft new Charter


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte wants to name former justices as members of the 24-man Constitutional Commission (ConCom), which will serve as the advisory body to Congress in drafting a new Charter toward a federal government, a spokesman in Malacañang said Friday.

Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella made the announcement a day after Representatives Eugene de Vera of ABS party-list and Aurelio Gonzales of Pampanga submitted their proposed new Constitution under Resolution of Both Houses No. 8.

It seeks to establish a federal government, a bicameral legislature, and divide the country into 18 regions each governed by a regional government, with each region represented by senators elected at large.

“The President wants the former justices to be majority [in the ConCom], and a minority of civilians,” Abella said.

The executive order on the establishment of the ConCom was signed in December 2016, but Abella did not state reasons as to why the President has not named its members.

“We haven’t received names, and I cannot answer as to the reason [the appointment of ConCom people has yet to happen],” Abella said.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd has proposed a P100-billion equalization fund sourced from the future federal government and wealthy states to subsidize the poor ones and start the shift to federalism.


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