Press Release
May 21, 2017

To democratize political power
Koko proposes anti-dynasty provision
in new Constitution to be self-executing

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said the anti-dynasty provision should be made self-executing in the proposed new Constitution in order to democratize political power.

This is just one of several political reforms the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), wanted to introduce in the proposed new Constitution.

The PDP Laban, headed by Pimentel, is leading a nationwide campaign to amend the 1987 Charter in order to change the form of government from unitary to federal system.

For the proposed shift to federalism to succeed, he said it should come with a package of political reforms, among them to subsidize accredited political parties and to penalize political butterflies.

"But we will retain the concept of term limits," said Pimentel, adding the party wanted to adopt a uniquely Filipino federalism model customized to the country's needs and circumstances.

He said the current party list system would be improved and transformed into a system of proportional representation for the ruling party to muster a majority and ensure a stable parliament.

"We will raise the qualification requirements for the presidency," Pimentel said, and foreign ownership in nationalized economic activities will be delegated to the federal legislature.

Land ownership, however, would be reserved only to Filipinos, he said.

Since corruption is still a curse devastating the country, Pimentel said the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit would be strengthened to make them a strong presence in the regions.

On the judiciary, he said the PDP Laban proposed to continue to observe and protect, and even enhance its independent nature except for some proposed changes.

The new Constitution, he said, should prohibit "judicial legislation" and a "Constitutional Court" would be established to settle constitutional issues and disputes.

"We intend to have at least one Court of Appeals division per region," he said referring to the 11 proposed regional governments. "We intend to put time limit to cases and disputes."

Many cases have clogged court dockets unresolved for years not only because of lack of judges but for other reasons. "We will pursue the one appeal concept."

This means, he said, that decisions of the Municipal Trial Courts must be appealable once, as a matter of right, directly to the Court of Appeals, just like decisions of the Regional Trial Courts.

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