‘Bill of Rights won’t be touched’
HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez assured the public that Congress would not touch the Bill of Rights in the planned constitutional assembly to amend the Constitution but he proposed it be balanced with a “bill of duties” for citizens.
Alvarez, who is leading the Duterte administration’s push for a change to a federal form of government, said the Bill of Rights would be “sacred” amid local and international concerns on the wave of suspected summary killings in the administration’s intensified crackdown on illegal drugs.
In a television interview, Alvarez said: “We have to preserve the Bill of Rights. My proposal is we have to have there the bill of duties of every citizen. That was, I think, included in the 1973 Constitution, but I don’t know what happened in the process.”
A bill of duties lays down the obligations of every citizen, such as to honor the flag, defend the Constitution, obey laws, pay taxes and respect the rights of others.
While the bill of rights was untouchable, Alvarez said term limits on the president and vice president, senators and representatives and local government officials could be discussed.