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Ex-CJ Puno seeks inclusion of referendum in 2016 polls

Judy Flores Partlow (The Freeman) - August 26, 2015 - 10:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno had expressed optimism for a referendum to be included in next year’s elections, calling for a charter change thru a constitutional convention.

Puno aired this sentiment when he was guest speaker of the annual alumni gathering of Silliman University’s College of Law, as part of the university’s 114th founders’ day anniversary celebration.

The former chief  justice explained to his audience at SU as well as to reporters in an informal gathering that he was going around the Visayas to push for his con-con campaign, dubbed as Bagong Sistema, Bagong Pag-asa.

The campaign is aimed at revising the 1987 Constitution from a presidential unitary to a parliamentary federal form of government, which he said was his “sincere belief” that it is the “only way out of the nagging problems” besetting the country.

A parliamentary federal form of government would see a real devolution of powers and not just simply granting autonomy to the local level, Puno said, adding that this would give certain powers to the states to allow them self rule.

Further, a system change would also re-allocate and balance various powers of government at the executive, legislative and judiciary branches, Puno said.

If the constitution is revised, it would provide an opportunity to address major problems in the Philippines, such as corruption, reign of political dynasties, and inability of government to reduce the gap between rich and poor, he said.

Puno had proposed for a rider in the 2016 elections’ ballot for a referendum for a con-con to get the pulse of the people on this issue. He added that he was hoping Congress will pass a resolution to this effect.

ACIRC BAGONG PAG BAGONG SISTEMA COLLEGE OF LAW CON FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE REYNATO PUNO GOVERNMENT POWERS PUNO SILLIMAN UNIVERSITY VISAYAS
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