Draft constitution: Entire government ‘protector of people’ not only military

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“No it was not a mistake, it was deliberated upon,” Ding Generoso, the spokesperson of Consultative Committee (ConCom) formed by President Rodrigo Duterte, told ANC explaining the changes in ARTICLE II Section 3 of the current constitution.

Generoso said the phrase in the 1987 Philippine Constitution: “The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State” is being interpreted by some as some kind of right for the Armed Forces to assert power, invoking the protector clause.

He said the phrase could be subject to a lot of interpretations.

He added that it is the government which is the protector of the people. “So when the ConCom talked about this, the decision was: No it was not just the Armed Forces that protects the people it is the entire government, the whole of government is the protector,” Generoso said.

He said the function of the whole government is to protect the people, while the AFP protects the national territory and secures sovereignty.

ARTICLE II Section 3 of the current constitution says “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.”

The ConCom’s proposal for ARTICLE II Section 3 in the draft federal constitution is “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The government is the protector of the people and the Federal Republic. The armed forces of the Philippines shall secure the sovereignty of the Republic and the integrity of its national territory. The government may call upon the people to defend the Federal Republic and render personal military or civil service under conditions provided by federal law.”

Sources: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/11/18/concom-removes-militarys-protector-of-the-people-tag-in-draft-charter; https://www.lawphil.net/consti/cons1987.html; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wtb5vPBG08bl7tUOsbv3R8wu-KVwJOzq/view