Analysis by Raïssa Robles
The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments started discussing today the “Salient Features” of the draft constitution proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte’s government. The draft constitution itself has not been made public.
It isn’t clear who actually wrote and submitted the “Salient Features”, but the document makes five things immediately clear:
(1) once the new Constitution is ratified, Duterte will assume at once the powers of both the President and the Prime Minister
(2) Elections next year will be canceled, leaving Duterte’s super majority in control of the legislature.
(3) Duterte will be able to do anything during the transition period.
(4) There is no guarantee up to when such a transition period will last.
(5) Although the whole exercise of changing the constitution is supposed to pave the way for federalism, the draft constitution is very convoluted about implementing federalism.