Duterte appoints 19 members of Charter Change consultative committee

Pia Ranada
(3rd UPDATE) The committee is chaired by Reynato Puno and includes former Senate President Nene Pimentel and former Supreme Court justice Bienvenido Reyes

CHA-CHA. President Rodrigo Duterte finally names members of his consultative committee for amending the charter. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed 19 of the 25 members of the consultative committee on amending the 1987 Constitution, more than a year after creating the body.

Duterte signed their appointment papers on January 23, but these were released to the media on Thursday, January 25.

The committee is chaired by former Supreme Court (SC) chief justice Reynato Puno. 

Members include former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr; former SC associate justice Bienvenido Reyes; Radio Mindanao Network founder lawyer Reuben Canoy; former SC justice and former solicitor general Antonio Nachura; Julio Cabral Teehankee, former dean of De La Salle University’s College of Liberal Arts; Father Ranhilio Aquino, dean of San Beda’s Graduate School of Law.

Other members are former Kalinga congressman Laurence Wacnang; former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios; Local Government Development Foundation executive director Edmund Soriano Tayao; and former San Beda law professor and Bohol governor Victor de la Serna.

There are at least 3 Muslims in the committee: former Mindanao State University Tawi-Tawi chancellor Eddie Mapag Alih, former Lanao del Sur congressman Ali Pangalian Balindong; and Randolph Climaco Parcasio, lawyer and spokesman of Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari.

Of the 19, the following helped the PDP-Laban Federalism Institute in drafting a new constitution, currently being reviewed by the House of Representatives: Pimentel, Tayao, and Julio Teehankee.

Here’s the complete list of the 19 members:

  • Reynato Puno as chairman
  • Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr
  • Randolph Climaco Parcasio
  • Antonio Arellano
  • Susan Ubalde-Ordinario
  • Arthur Aguilar
  • Reuben Canoy
  • Roan Libarios
  • Laurence Wacnang
  • Ali Pangalian Balindong
  • Edmund Soriano Tayao
  • Eddie Mapag Alih
  • Bienvenido Reyes
  • Julio Cabral Teehankee
  • Antonio Nachura
  • Rodolfo Dia Robles
  • Virgilio Bautista
  • Ranhilio Aquino
  • Victor de la Serna

Deadline in 6 months

Duterte created the consultative committee in December 2016 through Executive Order Number 10.

The committee is supposed to “study, conduct consultations, and review the provisions of the 1987 Constitution including but not limited to the provisions on the structure and powers of the government, local governance, and economic policies.”

The committee must complete its work in 6 months. While Duterte’s EO states the committee should have 25 members, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the committee can already begin their work.

“I suppose the committee will start the work immediately notwithstanding there are only 19 members. As of this date, no need really for a full 25-man body,” he told Rappler.

The committee will present its recommendations and proposals to Duterte, who will then submit them to Congress. The committee will cease to exist after the submission to Congress.  Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.