RETIRED Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. urged the national government to fully implement the 1987 Constitution rather than proposing for a change of government.

Davide told reporters that 30 years since the 1987 Constitution was crafted, only less than 30 percent of its provisions have been implemented.

Davide was visiting retired Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal during the latter’s 86th birthday on Monday, February 6, when reporters asked him about the issue.

“We have to give the Constitution a longer life, until the objectives, the aspirations and the ideals of the Filipino people embodied there shall be implemented,” Davide said.

A member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Davide said that shifting to a federal form of government is disadvantageous to the country as it will only promote further division.

Davide said that should the country shift to federalism, Filipinos are expected to pay two kinds of taxes, one for the state and the other for the federal government.

“Before you ever think of adopting a federal system, the one proposing must fully realize how it works. We have not tried it yet,” he said.

But should the National Government proceed with federalism, Davide proposed to test it in a model state before implementing it nationwide.

“We can easily determine whether federalism would suit the Filipinos by having first a model. Dili kay idiretso nimo ang tibuok nasod,” Davide said.

He also denied allegations that he and members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission are being “destabilizers” by blocking federalism.

“It is not destabilizing. What is destabilizing is the move to amend the Constitution. It would divide the people and make them poor,” he said.

Earlier, Davide said he is willing to die for the 1987 Constitution and plans to block efforts to amend it.