Cotabato City (March 9, 2018) – The Senate committees on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws; and Electoral Reforms and Peoples’ Participation conducted a joint regional consultation hearing with representatives and participants from various sectors, regarding proposals to amend or revise the 1987 Philippine Constitution on Thursday, March 8.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Laws and concurrent vice-chair of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and Peoples’ Participation, led the hearing.
Most of the representatives from the academe, indigenous peoples’ communities, people’s organizations and civil society organizations expressed support to change the text of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provided “it will reflect the collective aspirations of the people of Mindanao.”
They appealed for a constitution that will answer the challenges involving the Bangsamoro quest to self-determination, federalism, political dynasty, and peace and security.
“We are not against whatever na gusto ng gobyerno, as long as we are not deprived of our self-determination,” said Sofia Paguital, member of the civil society group Mindanao People’s Caucus.
Members of Bangsamoro civil society organizations appealed before the senator to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) first before implementing any other form of government in Mindanao. Senator Pangilinan replied: “independent of the charter change debates, we believe, BBL should be passed.”
Assemblyman Zia Alonto-Adiong said changes in the constitution “should include anti-political dynasty provisions that must be supported by a good political system.”
Pangilinan said the goal of the proposed charter change should not be to gratify the political ambitions of the few but to rectify and address the underlying problems of the country. “The aim should be peace, justice, progress and prosperity for all,” Sen. Pangilinan said.
Majority of the participants in the consultation favors a constitutional convention (Con-Con) over a constituent assembly (Con-Ass) should there be a final decision that the constitution be amended or revised. A Con-Con is made up of elected delegates and can propose both amendments and revisions, while a Con-Ass is convened by Congress to propose amendments.
They also opined that the Senate and House of Representatives should vote separately in the case of a Con-Ass, because charter change should go “beyond numbers” once congress takes it up.
Norkhalila Mae Mambuay-Campong, Office of the Regional Governor chief of staff, said the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is proof that reform is possible. “We have seen roads and bridges connecting not only places, but also hopes. Not only do school buildings rise, but also dreams of thousands of school children who have a bright future,” she said.
Senator Richard Gordon earlier introduced Joint Resolution No. 1 proposing amendments to, or revisions of, the economic provisions of the constitution to allow the country to properly adapt to the changing global economy through appropriate economic laws and policies.
Senator Panfilo Lacson also introduced a similar resolution calling for a Senate constituent assembly to propose amendments to or a revision of the constitution, and upon approval of three-fourths vote of its members adopt the same.
SOURCE: (Bureau of Public Information)
March 12, 2018 @ 13:12