DILG opposes House Cha-cha proposals
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday opposed the House of Representatives’ proposals on presidential succession and the lifting of lawmakers’ term limits, saying it stood by the draft federal Constitution put forward by President Duterte’s consultative committee.
Interior Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, in a statement, said the DILG appreciated the effort of the House to fast-track deliberations on the proposed federal Constitution but not at the expense of political and electoral reforms.
“[W]e ask the House not to sacrifice the political and electoral reforms that our country urgently needs,” said Malaya, also the DILG spokesperson.
The department made its position known following the approval by the House committee on constitutional amendments of a new version of the draft Constitution authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Proposals draw flak
The House proposals include taking out the Vice President in the line of presidential succession and removing term limits for lawmakers during the transition to the proposed federal form of government.
But the proposals, contained in Resolution of Both Houses No. 15, drew flak from critics, prompting Majority Leader Rolando Andaya to “recommit” them to the committee level.
Malaya said it was not clear to the DILG why the Arroyo-backed draft removed the Vice President from the order of presidential succession, when it sought to maintain the presidential system.
The existing term limits must also be respected so that the people would not question the motives behind the President Duterte’s push for a federal system, the DILG official said.
Malaya said the DILG stood by the original draft Constitution and backed the proposal for a “self-executing antipolitical dynasty provision” that will “open up and democratize” the country’s electoral process.
The DILG, he said, remained hopeful that the Senate and the House could still convene as a constituent assembly to debate on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
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