MANILA -- A consultative group that drafted a federal constitution said Tuesday it would tackle Rodrigo Duterte's suggestion to let the public elect a "younger" leader to oversee the transition to federalism.
The consultative committee will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss the President's statement, said panel spokesperson Ding Generoso.
"Siyempre iginagalang naman natin ang pasya ng Pangulo... Siyempre pag-aaralan ulit iyan kung papaano ibubuo bilang bahagi ng transitory provision," he told radio DZMM.
(Of course, we respect the President's decision. We will study how it can be incorporated into the transitory provision.)
Duterte wants a provision in the draft charter that bans him from leading the transitory government, paving the way for him to step down from office, his spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The 22-member committee, however, cannot include provisions prohibiting any incumbent official from running for office again, said Generoso.
"Iyan ay sa kadahilanan na 'pag tayo ay nagbago ng konstitusyon, parang bagong simula iyan sa lahat. Ang nakalagay d'yan ay ano yung mga qualifications at disqualifications na applicable sa lahat," said Generoso.
(That is because when we revise the constitution, that would be a fresh start for everyone. It will identify qualifications and disqualifications applicable to everyone.)
The 1973 and 1935 constitutions, Generoso said, did not bar then presidents Manuel Quezon and Corazon Aquino or any other incumbent official from seeking public office again.
Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, promised during the 2016 campaign to spread political power and wealth to countryside.
The draft federal constitution needs to hurdle a congressional debate and a referendum before it can become a law.