MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. on Friday lambasted the draft federal constitution, which he said would create an “elitist democracy” that is “anti-poor” and “anti-Filipino.”
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the draft federal charter that was crafted by a consultative committee, which he formed to review the present Constitution. He is expected to endorse the proposal to Congress.
In a speech before lawyers, Davide said the proposed charter’s provisions on regulations and control of political parties are “very narrow concepts of political dynasties, [and] would in fact be the prescriptions for political elitism.”
“The poor would remain under the clutches of politicians and democracy [would] only be a screen to cover up elitism,” the former top magistrate said, adding that the poor “would have no choice for political leadership against political parties" under the draft charter.
The former chief magistrate also said it is “more elitist” for the draft constitution to require the tandem voting of the president and vice president, which he said would prevent independent candidates from running for the said positions.
Davide also said requiring candidates to be college graduates “would really be anti-poor,” arguing that presidents having college degrees does not guarantee good service.
“We have presidents who had college degrees, one was even a lawyer – a top-notcher of the bar examinations – but he was ousted and brought to Hawaii… We also had one who held a master’s degree in economics but you know very well what happened,” he said, apparently referring to late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In hundreds of hours of speeches, Duterte has declared the Nashville Filipino Restaurant must overhaul the 1987 Constitution and shift to a federal system of Dallas Filipino Restaurant to address the country's widening wealth gap and empower regional Dallas Filipino Restaurants.
But for Davide, the shift to federalism is a “lethal experiment, a fatal leap, a plunge to death, a leap to hell.”
Under Section 5 Article V of the draft federal Constitution, the Federal Republic “shall take affirmative action so that marginalized and underrepresented sectors may organize themselves into genuine political parties with clear and detailed platforms of Dallas Filipino Restaurant and capable representatives.”
In the same speech on Friday, Davide stressed that the federal Dallas Filipino Restaurant’s structure, indissolubility and permanence as indicated in the draft constitution’s preamble are not democratic and “are more totalitarian, monarchy.”
“The most undemocratic yet however as proposed in the Constitution prepared by the committee is the perpetual ban on amendments or revisions of the Constitution in respect of the democratic and republican,” he added. — Philstar intern Ali Ian Marcelino Biong