Concom spox: Davide ‘confused,’ ‘lacks logic’ after critique
Negative remarks of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. on the draft federal constitution were made out of confusion, Consultative Committee (Concom) spokesperson Ding Generoso said in a statement.
“Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide’s statement that the Consultative Committee’s draft Constitution is ‘anti-poor, anti- Filipino and pro dynasty’ betrays his confusion, lack of sincerity and lack of logic in the on-going debate on the proposal to revise the 1987 constitution,” Generoso said on Sunday.
Generoso added that the ex-head magistrate might have been referring to the current constitution, in which Davide took part in drafting as one of the commissioners.
“The good justice could only be describing the 1987 constitution, not the Concom draft,” he added.
On Satuday, Davide reiterated his previous statements that the draft constitution is anti-poor, as Filipinos will be forced to shoulder the weight of additional taxes. He claims that the two kinds of taxes will be unavoidable in a federal government.
However, Generoso said that the draft’s Bill of Rights enlists certain essential services as responsibilities of the government, allowing poor people to demand these from the state.
“The Concom draft contains in the Bill of Rights the right of the people to adequate food, decent housing, complete education, comprehensive healthcare, and livelihood and employment opportunities. These rights are meant for the poor,” Generoso explained.
“By putting these in the Bill of Rights, they become demandable from the State, from the government; and the government is mandated to adopt measures and programs toward the progressive realization of these rights,” he added.
According to Generoso, the draft constitution, if adopted, will also provide free legal assistance to members of indigenous peoples.
He also boasted of supposed “pro-poor” measures within the draft, such as the prioritization of the welfare of poor people and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and a mandate to protect the environment and the balance of ecology.
“The draft also includes a section for providing free legal assistance to indigent Filipinos who involved in any legal or administrative proceedings, as well as […] compensation for individuals unjustly accused, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned but later found […] to be innocent,” he said.
In an interview with GMA-7’s Balitanghali, Davide has also cast doubt on the intentions of the ConCom. He questioned certain provisions on territorial policies, saying that the Constitution mentioned the Philippine Rise as part of the sovereign territory, but there was no similar mention of the West Philippine Sea.
Generoso countered this, saying that there is no need to mention the WPS as sections were already in place to safeguard the sovereignty of the seas.
“The ConCom draft of Article I precisely defines and distinguishes sovereignty and sovereign rights. It states [that] “sovereignty over islands and features outside its archipelagic baselines pursuant to the laws of the Federal Republic, the law of nations, and the judgment of competent international courts or tribunals”,” he said.
“The phrase “law of nations” refers to the UNCLOS and other conventions that may in the future be agreed upon in the international arena. The phrase “judgment of competent international courts or tribunals” refers to the judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration,” he added, implying that the draft has adhered to claims on the West Philippine sea.
Generoso also questioned whether Davide could be barking at the wrong tree.
“All these are designed to cement our sovereignty and sovereign rights. If these are being un-Filipino, then Justice Davide may want to redefine the word,” Generoso added. /cbb
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