MANILA – In a meeting Tuesday, the Consultative Committee designated to review the 1987 Constitution decided to adopt a presidential form of federal government, which they intend to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The meeting was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
It was presided over by Concom chairman and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who explained: “We are familiar with the presidential system. We adopted this system in our 1935 Constitution, and in the 1973 Constitution, as amended, and likewise in our 1987 Constitution.”
Puno added that the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the presidential form of government “check and balance each other in order to prevent the tyranny of any branch.”
Puno said that a strong president, combined with the doctrine of separation of powers, and the doctrine of checks and balances, is the best export of the United States to the whole world.
Earlier in the day, four Concom members presented their defense of three forms of federal government that were being considered: parliamentary, presidential, and semi-presidential (or hybrid).
Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law, talked about the parliamentary form of federal government.
He was followed by former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., supported by former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Atty. Roan Libarios, who discussed the presidential form of federal government.
Dean Julio Teehankee of the De La Salle University’s College of Liberal Arts went last, espousing the semi-presidential form of federal government.
After eight hours of presentations and inquiries, the presidential form of federal government was deemed the best of the three. There were nine votes for presidential, eight for semi-presidential, and one for parliamentary.
But because there was no majority vote, they held a subsequent runoff vote, with the following results: 11 votes for presidential and seven for semi-presidential.
Concom members Atty. Reuben Canoy and Atty. Victor de la Serna were absent.
The Concom, with 18 of 24 slots filled up so far, is expected to submit its recommendations and proposals to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 19, ahead of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.
See how the Concom members voted below.
1. Atty. Antonio Arellano
2. Dr. Virgilio Bautista
3. Atty. Roan Libarios
4. Retired Associate Justice Antonio Nachura
5. Atty. Randolph Parcasio
6. Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
7. Retired Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes
8. Former Kalinga Representative Laurence Wacnang
9. Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno
10. Prof. Eddie Alih
11. Atty. Ali Balindong
1. Arthur Aguilar
2. Atty. Ferdinand Bocobo
3. Atty. Susan Ordinario
4. Atty. Rodolfo Robles
5. Prof. Edmund Tayao
6. Dean Julio Teehankee
7. Fr. Ranhilio Aquino