by Ghio Ong With Delon Porcalla(The Philippine Star), Aug 7, 2018
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed federal form of government for the Philippines could “breed a tyrannical, oppressive and unjust regime,” former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. has warned.
“It creates a horribly horrendous, bloated and enlarged bureaucracy to maintain and sustain, which would forever burden the people,” Davide said in his speech during the national assembly of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines last Friday.
The proposed charter enlarges the Senate which will be composed of 36 senators. The House of Representatives will have more than 400 members, he explained.
Davide noted the creation of 18 federated regions, with broad exclusive powers, each of which will have its own regional assembly and executive department.
He also slammed the concept of the formation of the four supreme courts on the national level as well as regional supreme courts and other lower courts.
The creation of the four federal supreme courts – the Supreme Court, constitutional court, administrative court and electoral court – “is unnecessary and would only complicate our justice system, and diminishes and weakens the historic dignity of the single highest court – the Supreme Court,” according to Davide.
Davide said the process of their appointments, especially of chief justices of the four high courts, “would seriously affect the independence of the Court and would subject it to political pressure and interference,” especially that “the President and the members of the Commission on Appointments are politicians.”
“This massive reorganization of the judiciary with the dichotomy of the justice system and judiciary would create havoc in the administration and delivery of justice. The regional courts can easily be controlled in both their creation and filling up by politicians,” Davide pointed out, hence making the justice system more difficult to access.
All the reorganizations in the bureaucracy will prompt both the federal and regional governments “to impose taxes or to resort to borrowing money,” according to the former chief justice.
“Not far behind these would be increases in the prices of almost everything, e.g., food, medicine, etc. They create an unbearable burden on the people,” he said.
Double sectoral representation
Meanwhile, sectoral representation at the House of Representatives will be doubled from 20 to 40 percent if ever the draft charter prepared by the consultative committee is implemented, a senior opposition lawmaker said yesterday.
“Offhand, we favor the proposal because it will allow underrepresented sectors to seek and obtain greater representation in Congress,” House Deputy Minority Leader Lito Atienza, who represents Buhay party-list, said.
A total of 292 members of the House represent both districts and party-list groups.
Various sectors of society stand to benefit from it, according to Atienza. –