A Netizen’s Commentary on the ConCom’s proposed Federal Constitution (Part II)

Although it was a working draft copy, let me continue reviewing the draft Constitution.

Click here for Part I if you haven’t read it.

In this section, we will review the revised yet continuous separation of powers of the three co-equal branches of government (a.k.a. presidentialism). This may not please everyone, especially to the hardcore parliamentary advocates.


 

Article VII. Legislative Department

Thankfully, the national legislature will remain bicameral. Just like the United States, the House of Representatives will represent the people based on the population as the Senate will represent the regions equally, regardless of the population.

Section 2 made me happy:

Every Federated Region shall be represented by at least two (2) Senators elected by the qualified voters in the federated region, provided that each region shall have the same number of senators.

However, the remaining provisions for the Senate (Section 4) made me sad as it’ll no longer be staggered as now (currently: half of senators are up every 3 years). Keep it staggered!

If I were them, Section 5 should limit to 300 seats with 80% for single member districts and 20% by proportional representation. Don’t allow party-lists again because it benefits the extreme left-wingers.

The rest is just copy-paste-and-tweak from the current charter.

Article VIII. Executive Department

Finally, the President and Vice President will be elected by the ticket. Since 1935 (with the gap due to the 1973 Constitution), the President and Vice President are elected separately.

Plus, the four-year term plus re-election reinstates the spirit of ’35, as amended.

However, the Vice President should also be the President of the Senate just like in the USA, Brazil and Argentina, in addition of being a member of the Cabinet.

Without an explicit hint of the electoral system, I assume it will still be first-past-the-post. But the all presidential elections in the present Constitution have given us minority presidents. Time to shift to two-round system!

Article IX. Judicial Department

This is the most expansive as it divides the power from the Federal Supreme Court and be given into three Specialized Courts. But then, as late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago once said in 2016, “where will they get the funds?”

Currently, all judges must retire at 70 but on this provision, they must retire either for 12 years or at 70, whichever comes first.

When it comes to their composition, according to Section 6, is mixed, giving all three branches of government the chance to appoint their justices: three (3) including the Chief Justice, shall be appointed by the President, three (3) shall be appointed by the Commission on Appointments, and three (3) shall be appointed by the Federal Constitutional Court en banc.

Federal Supreme Court

On Section 8(a)(1) — involving petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto (emphasis mine) — I felt problematic considering the recent situation of ousted Chief Justice Sereno.

Federal Constitutional Court

That reminds me of Germany and South Korea. If Germany has this in Karlsruhe, where would the Philippines be?

One of the powers (Section 11) of this court the impeachment of public officials (from the Senate that we currently or should be employed, as in the case of Sereno) and the required numbers to convict (just like South Korea did over to former President Park Geun-hye last year.)

Federal Administrative Court

What will happen to the Sandiganbayan? Will they continue to exist or will they be absorbed to the FAC?

Federal Electoral Court

This court replaces the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representative Electoral Tribunals. That’s fine because it lessens the backlog!

Judicial Appointments and Disciplinary Council (JADC)

This replaces the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) but there is a flaw on composition of ex-officio members: the representative from the Senate and the House. Methinks they should belong the concerned committee from both the majority and minority.

Part III will be up tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “A Netizen’s Commentary on the ConCom’s proposed Federal Constitution (Part II)

  1. Pingback: A Netizen’s Commentary on the ConCom’s proposed Federal Constitution (Part III) | Timow P

  2. Pingback: A Netizen’s Commentary on the ConCom’s proposed Federal Constitution (Part IV) | Timow P

  3. Pingback: A Netizen’s Commentary on the ConCom’s proposed Federal Constitution (Part V) | Timow P

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