Charter change reviewers meet
The members of the Charter change (Cha-cha) consultative committee created by President Duterte met for the first time in Manila on Thursday afternoon to begin reviewing the 1987 Constitution.
Chaired by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, the 19- member committee held its preparatory meeting behind closed doors at the Leaders Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center.
In a television interview, committee member and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. said he would push for his and the President’s advocacy, the shift to the federal system of government, in public hearings.
124 days to do the job
“The government’s push [for federalism] is already there. It’s up to the people to respond positively,” he said.
Pimentel said the committee had 124 days to do its job and was targeting to present its report to the President on July 9, ahead of his annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) later in the month.
The President would submit to Congress his proposals for Cha-cha, based on the committee’s recommendations, the former senator said.
Mr. Duterte would review the report up to July 15 and if he so desired, the committee would meet to make revisions until July 19, he added.
Pimentel said he expected the President to vouch for the committee’s report during his Sona.
Also present during the meeting were former Supreme Court Associate Justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Bienvenido Reyes, San Beda College Graduate School of Law dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, lawyer and former Bohol Gov. Victor de la Serna, one of Duterte’s law professors at San Beda, as well as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Puno said the committee would try its best to come out with its recommendations within the six-month period given to them by the President. He said the committee would come up with a final report, rather than submit them “piecemeal.”
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