How Con-con works: No lawmaker in Charter review

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2016 09:26 AM

MANILA - Outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon has filed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (Con-con) to review the 1987 Constitution.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Drilon said the 29-year-old Constitution must be examined to determine if it is still attuned to present-day realities.

"Binuo itong Saligang Batas pagkatapos ng Martial Law. Marami po sa mga probisyon diyan ay reaksyon sa Martial Law, na hindi na sang-ayon sa mga pangyayari hindi lang sa ating bansa kundi sa buong mundo."

"Panahon na para tingnan natin ang ating Saligang Batas sa pamamagitan ng isang Constitutional Convention, sa aking tingin," he said.

Drilon also noted that the Con-con would pave the way for a shift to a federal form of government long advocated by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Ang sinasabi ng ating Pangulong Duterte, interesado siyang baguhin ang ating batas at ibig niyang ipairal ang system of government natin sa federal," he said.

"Sa kampanya ng mga delegado, ipapaliwanag nila para saan ba sila -- para ba sila sa federal o para sa presidential. Para pagpili ng taumbayan, nakikita na nila kung saan patungo iyung mga delagadong kanilang inihalal."

READ: What is federalism? Lawmaker explains

Drilon is confident that Congress would approve his resolution for the Constitutional review, given the administration's support for federalism.

The senator also mentioned that previous calls for a Con-con were blocked because it was not favored by Duterte's predecessor, President Aquino. Con-con was also seen as a ploy to extend the tenure of administrations before Aquino.

"Sa kanya (Aquino) pong tingin, dapat ang atensyon ng buong sambayanan ay nakatutok sa ating pamumuhay, sa pagbago, paglago ng ating ekonomiya. At sa kanyang tingin, ang pag-debate sa ating Saligang Batas ay makaka-divert ng ating atensyon," he said.

"Sa iba namang termino, ang pagbabago ng batas ay para sa pagpapahaba ng kanilang termino kaya hindi po nagsa-succeed."

CON-CON DELEGATES

In a statement released Sunday night, Drilon said Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 calls for a convention, whose members shall be elected by January 2017, to propose amendments to, or revision of, the Constitution.

Drilon said that in order to maintain the non-partisan nature of the process, the resolution provides that "No person who is a member of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Resolution shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention."

He further explained that the same section also prohibits candidates in the May 2016 elections to qualify as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention.

"Neither shall any person who filed his/her certificate of candidacy in the election of May 9, 2016 shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention," the resolution states.

The resolution also bans candidates to represent or allow them to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any organization, Drilon noted.

He said each house has to vote separately on the resolution.

FEDERALISM

President Duterte earlier told congressional leaders that he wants the shift to a federal form of government to go through a Con-con.

According to Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, Duterte rejected a constituent assembly, which will be composed of incumbent lawmakers, saying he did not want to create the impression that he was "dictating" on Congress

Duterte is reportedly eyeing a federal government by 2020, his fourth year in office, in a bid to end the decades-long insurgency in the Philippines.

READ: Duterte expects long road towards peace, federalism