Palace hopes PRRD allies to consider draft of federal Constitution

MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday expressed hope that President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives will study “very closely” and ultimately adopt the draft of the federal Constitution.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this comment after the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by Duterte to draft a Federal Constitution approved in an en banc on Tuesday the entire proposal which seeks to distribute powers and resources among regions.

“I think the President, as chairman of PDP, the dominant party at the House, will transmit it to his partymates and he will encourage his partymates to study it very closely and, if possible, to pattern the proposed revision after what the commission has recommended,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque, however, clarified that it would still be up for the House and the Senate whether to adopt the revisions prepared by ConCom.

“In that sense, we can only persuade the partymates of the President but we recognize that the decision ultimately will lie in the individual members of the House of Representatives and the Senate,” said Roque, a former House member.

“We have a super majority in the House. I think, at least in the House, it will be very persuasive. We’re hoping to be equally persuasive in the Senate,” he added.

The draft federal Constitution that ConCom has approved has 21 articles compared to the 1987 Constitution with 18 articles.

The draft will be submitted on or before July 9, in time for the President’s third state of the nation address (SONA) on July 23.