Press Release
July 17, 2018

Transcript of Sen. Bam's questions on Charter Change
Topics: Voting jointly or separately, No-El, and Anti-Dynasty

Sen. Bam: If you imagine any scenario, which is constitutional where only one House of Congress will undergo the process. Gusto ko lang tanungin ulit, kung mayroong proseso na gagawin na House of Representatives lang ang gagawa at hindi kasama ang Senado, ito po ba ay constitutional sa anumang pagpaplano sa pagpalit ng Konstitusyon?

CJ Puno: Noon pong hearing na iyon na ipinatawag din ng Senado, tinanong kami kung ano ang pag-iisip namin sa isyu na iyon, kung voting separately iyong dalawang Houses of Congress o voting jointly. I expressed my personal opinion that the voting should be done separately by both Houses of Congress and I gave my reasons for that opinion. Historical reasons, coherent reading of the different provisions of the Constitution and the need to know the intent of the makers of our Constitution.

But I also said that is one school of thought and I do not claim to be the legal Einstein of our Constitution. There is another school of thought and I respect that. Perhaps these two schools of thought have to contend with each other before our Supreme Court.

Sen. Bam: Chief, napag-usapan niyo po ba ito sa inyong Consultative Commission, ang proseso ng con-ass, at kung ito ay kailangang isagawa na voting separately o voting jointly.

CJ Puno: Mayroon pong provision ang draft Constitution stating that voting should be separate.

Sen. Bam: Ito po ba ay pinagbotohan niyo sa Commission?

CJ Puno: Pinagbotohan po iyan.

Sen. Bam: At ano po ang nanalo?

CJ Puno: Iyan po ay nandoon sa ating bagong, itong draft Constitution, na kung pagtitibayin, nakalagay doon na voting should be separately.

Sen. Bam: Ngayon po, ang prosesong pagdadaanan natin, and as you know, this is subject of statements from the Speakers, statements from senators. Napag-usapan niyo po ba sa Consultative Commission kung iyong proseso po ng Con-Ass o kung ang proseso ng pagbubukas ay puwedeng gawing jointly o separately.

CJ Puno: Hindi po tinalakay doon sa Consultative Commission kung anong gustong sabihin ng provision na iyan under the 1987 Constitution.

Sen. Bam: Hindi niyo po pinag-usapan but your personal opinion, it should be voting separately.

CJ Puno: Yes.

Sen. Bam: May I ask the other members of the commission who are here, professor Tayao, professor Teehankee, Justice Nachura and of course Sen. Pimentel, ano po ang tingin niyo sa tanong na jointly or separately. Sen. Pimentel, may we have your opinion on the matter. I think you already stated this publicly, but may we get this for the record.

Sen.Pimentel: Para sa akin, Sen. Bam, kailangang voting separately. Alam mo kung bakit. Ang 280 plus members ng House will deluge you 24 senators if you vote jointly. Mas maganda siguro you vote separately so that the 24 senators can determine for themselves kung ano ang pakay nila sa bagay na ito. In the same manner that the House will do that.

Sen. Bam: Let me take a step back Sen. Nene. Iyong pagbubukas po ng proseso, kinakailangan po ng resolusyon ng both Houses, from the Upper Chamber and the Lower Chamber, tama po?

Sen. Pimentel: That's right.

Sen. Bam: Puwede bang magsagawa ng Cha-cha ang Lower House na walang resolusyon mula sa Senado? Tinatanong ko po sa inyo because we value your opinion.

Sen. Pimentel: It cannot be done na sila lang.

Sen. Bam: May we ask Justice Nachura the same question. In your opinion, you're a former Justice of the Supreme Court as well, tingin niyo po ba, puwede itong gawin ng Lower House lamang.

Justice Nachura: Mayroon akong libro on Constitutional law, ang nakalagay po doon separate voting. Alangan naman na baguhin ko pa iyon.

Sen. Bam: Marami pong nagbasa niyan.

Prof. Teehankee. Earlier the concept of unintended consequence was mentioned. To my mind, this is exactly the unintended consequence of the omission of the 1987 Constitution to clarify that Congress should vote separately. Of course if we follow the principles and the logic and the spirit behind the Constitution, I also agree with my senior colleagues that the august chamber should vote separately.

Sen. Bam: Prof. Tayao, very quickly lang po.

Prof. Tayao: As quickly as possible, I agree with (inaudible).

Sen. Bam: Chief Justice Puno, sa pag-uusap niyo sa possible Charter Change, never niyo pong sinabi na ipo-postpone ang 2019 elections. Is that correct?

CJ Puno: Tama po iyon dahil sa palagay ng Consultative Commission, this is a unanimous opinion, ang may karapatang magsabi niyan ay ang Kongreso. That falls within the exclusive power and prerogative of Congress. Kaya kami, hindi kami nagbibigay ng opinion diyan.

Sen. Bam: Sinasabi niyo po na it's up to Congress. Hindi niyo po sinasabi na hindi kayo sumasang-ayon, either or. So you're neutral on the matter and youre leaving it to Congress.

CJ Puno: Opo, dahil power ng Congress iyon, ayaw naming pakialaman.

Sen. Bam: Chief, for your information, a number of senators cross-party have already made a stand na hindi dapat ma-postpone ang eleksyon. Ang eleksyon ay haligi ng demokrasya. Kapag binuwag mo pa ang haliging iyon, baka gumuho ang demokrasya natin. A number of us have already said that we are not in favor of postponing the election. The reason I think why nilalabas yung postponement of elections is because of the timetable. Ang tanong ko po, Ano po ba yung timetable na nasa isip ninyo? Some senators have said: "Let's tackle this after the election.", "Let's tackle this kapag nag-settle down na. Hindi naman ito kailangang madaliin." Do you agree, Chief Justice?

Sen. Bam: Yung timetable, nasa Congress yun.

Sen. Bam: Whether this is done in 2020, 2021, or end of 2019, it does not matter to the commission?

CJ Puno: The reason is because we do not want to encroach on the exclusive prerogative of the congress.

Sen. Bam: So in short, you are silent on the matter?

CJ Puno: Yes. Whatever the congress will say, we will follow the decision of the congress. That is the danger of the exclusive power.

Sen. Bam: Sa anti-dynasty, gusto ko lang pong linawin. I think we all agree that a federal system without an anti-dynasty commission will not work. That has been publicly stated by members of the commiission as well. Yung anti-dynasty provision na ito, makes a distinction between national, regional, and local? Is that correct?

Prof Teehankee: Of course most of us have been actively campaigning for this particular political reform. There is a difference between a regulation and "total ban". "Total ban" means "lahat bawal". So those who have done real work on the subject matter agree that regulation is the way to go. Our regulation is regulating members of political families/clans from second degree of continuity from 1. Succeeding each other, and that is what Dean Mendoza calls Thin Dynasty. Which is prevalent but not really a big issue. The big issue here would be the so called Fat dynasty. Yung sabay-sabay lahat na-eelect. The first provision would be "No Succession". If you are going to succeed your father who is a governor, for the same position, you are not banned from running from that position but you have to wait a term. Parang term limits na rin. The second one, yung multiple running for position. Bawal na po yun under our self-executory provision. The idea is a political family can only be candidates either for the national or the regional or the local level.

Sen. Bam: Lumalabas dyan na anti-political dynasty act except for the president because it's only the president and the vice president whom we have identified in a national position.

Prof Teehankee: Bawal po magsucceed ang anak ng presidente. No succession whatsoever. First, bawal mag succeed lahat both national, regional, and local position. Dun sa multiple candidacy, bawal din po iyon. Halimbawa, may tumakbong mayor sa isang probinsya, bawal nang tumakbo ang kamag-anak sa local, pero hanggang dalawang posisyon lang. National saka regional or local.

Sen. Bam: But again the national is just the president and vice president. We are allowing the President and the Vice President to have a simultaneous child/wife/ or grandchild as governor, senator, or mayor.

Prof Teehankee: Yes.

Sen. Bam: Why the exception? Again, dalawa lang naman yung national position natin.

Prof Teehankee: Mahabang diskusyon yan. May isa kaming kasama na nagsabi ng baka naman may mga tatakbong presidente, syempre politika, may patakbuhin sa lokal para madisqualify yung tatakbo sa taas. Isa yun sa mga naging consideration namin.

Sen. Bam: Pero kailangan anak niya, asawa niya, o grandchild niya.

Prof Teehankee: Meron din mga nagsabi na bakit hindi pwedeng dalawa?

Sen. Bam: yan yung DynasTWO di ba?

Prof Teehankee: Ang napagbotohan po ng en banc namin ay payagan na lang sa national.

Sen. Bam: Just to be clear, ang regional at local pwede isabay?

Prof Teehankee: Hindi.

Sen. Bam: Ang national at local pwede?

Prof Teehankee: Pwede. Pero kaunti lang po iyun. Dahil presidente at bise presidente lang.

Sen. Bam: So ibig sabihin nga. The exemption is only for the president and the vice president technically.

Prof Teehankee: Opo. Ako gusto ko lahat...

Sen. Bam: Were you out voted Prof Tanhankee?

Prof Teehankee: This was under the subcommittee on political reform Ito pong mga provisions on political reforms, malinaw Karamihan po dito ay matagal nang pinagdedebatihan dito sa congress. A large part of the reforms we introduced and constitutionalize were actually adopted from the senate debate here and even in the house.

Sen. Bam: Our versions do not have exemptions for the president.

Prof Teehankee: Yes. I would have wanted

Sen. Bam: In short, meron tayong anti-political dynasty provision pero ang exemption mo ay yung president at vice president. Again, we are talking about respective presidents and vice presidents. But that in itself already i think is taken against the provision. All of this naman will go back to us and if we do open the process, kailangan itong pag-usapan. Kung dalawang kandidato they have to have a toss-coin.

Prof Teehankee: Opo pero hindi po maganda ilagay sa constitution ang "toss-coin". Tinawag namin siyang "draw lots"

Sen. Bam: "Draw Lots" pala ang nakalagay. So in short kung may tatakbong within the same category, mag ddraw lots kayo. Maraming salamat po.

News Latest News Feed