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PIA Press Release
2005/12/01

DND submits proposals to Charter amendments

Quezon City (1 December) -- The Department of National Defense (DND) has submitted its proposals to the Consultative Commission (Con-Com) on possible amendments to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Con-Com Commissioner Jose P. Leviste, chair of the Committee on General Provisions, Amendments and Transitory Provisions and Constitutional Commissions, said one of the key proposals that the representatives from the military department raised is the "insulation" of the Armed Forces from politics.

Leviste said under the submitted proposal, the confirmation requirement should be limited to high-ranking officials appointed to key positions in the AFP in order to insulate the military from the influence of politicians.

"Hindi na kailangan dumaan pa sa (don't need to pass through the) Commission on Appointments (CA) ang (the) officers who are beyond the rank of colonel or navy captain. Ang dapat usisain ng CA (what CA should look into) is...if you're going to be appointed chief of staff, vice chief of staff or heads of the different services," Leviste said.

The committee had a meeting with representatives from the DND on Tuesday at the Seameo Innotech in Quezon City which included former AFP chief Gen. Narciso Abaya, and retired officers Gen. Feliciano Gacis and Comm. Carlos Agustin.

Article VII Section 16 of the present Constitution states that "the President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution."

Another proposal is the inclusion of a provision allowing the President to enter into executive agreements such as joint cooperation for short-duration military training exercises, disaster relief operations, with foreign governments "in the interest of national security and welfare".

The said proposal shall be discussed during the committee hearings and is still subject for approval in the committee level. Once approved, it will be debated upon in the commission's plenary session.

The 54-man commission is on its last leg of regional consultations in the provinces of Luzon and the Bicol region.

The commission will submit its proposals on amendments to the 18-year-old Charter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on December 15. (PNA ConCom Press Center/RBC/JMC/www.pna.gov.ph) [top]

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