Thomasian alumni appointed to Duterte’s charter change panel

From left to right: Justice Bienvenido Reyes, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and Asst. Prof Edmund Tayao. Photo courtesy of Supreme Court website (Reyes) and Twitter accounts of Ranhilio and Tayao.

THREE UST alumni were among the 19 experts appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte last Jan. 24 to be part of his 25-member charter change committee, as he pushes for a shift to a federal system of government.

Asst. Prof. Edmund Tayao, former Supreme Court associate justice Bienvenido Reyes and San Beda Graduate School of Law Dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino are among the members of Duterte’s “consultative committee.” The committee is headed by former chief justice Reynato Puno.

“My work as an academic and development worker has always been towards system reforms, so this is a welcome opportunity to contribute,” Tayao told the Varsitarian.

Tayao, executive director of the Local Government Development Foundation, was also one of those who drafted a new constitution being reviewed by the House of Representatives.

Reyes finished his pre-law at the University and pursued his bachelor of laws at San Beda College. In 2002, he was appointed associate justice of the Court of Appeals. He was named associate justice of the Supreme Court by President Benigno Aquino III in 2011.

Reyes administered the oath to President Duterte during his inauguration in 2016.

Fr. Aquino, a philosophy alumnus, was ordained in 1982 as priest of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. He finished his doctor of jurisprudence degree major in international law at the Columbia Pacific University.

Aquino has authored several philosophy and law books. He has been a member of the Philippine Judicial Academy since 1988.

According to Duterte’s Executive Order 10, the committee will “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 is expected to complete its work in six months and should submit its reports, recommendations and proposals to the President.

Other members of the committee are former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Victor de la Serna, Virgilio Bautista, Rodolfo Robles, Antonio Eduardo Nachura, Julio Teehankee, Eddie Alih, Ali Pangalian Balindong, Laurence Wacnang, Roan Libarios, Reuben Canoy, Arthur Aguilar, Susan Ordinario, Antonio Arellano and Randolph Parcasio.


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