Comelec: There's enough time for Con-ass

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2014 05:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2014 01:03 AM

MANILA - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes today maintained there is time for Charter change so long as it is done through a constituent assembly.

This is to clarify earlier comments that there is no more time for charter change.

Brillantes told lawmakers at his agency’s budget hearings that there is no more time for Charter change if the chosen mode is a constitutional convention since there is no more time to elect delegates to the Concon.

However, there is time for Charter change if the mode is a constituent assembly convened from the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“Kung magco-convert kayo, pwede siguro that’s why we submitted P7 billion for constitutional amendments. The [Department of Budget and Management] di sila interesado," he said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said: "Pag Concon or [people's initiative] out of time. Pero pag con-ass pwedeng pwede."

Brillantes said: "Basta may budget."

Colmenares then said, "If both Houses of Congress approve Cha-cha, they can approve supplemental budget. Inaprubahan mo na nga Cha-cha resolution, kayang-kaya both Houses. Don’t worry about the fact DBM didn’t approve a referendum budget. Di in-approve ng Malacanang with regards to referendum for people's initiative on pork barrel system. Malacanang wants to maintain DAP and presidential pork barrel. Don’t be worried about Cha-cha."

Brillantes assured Colmenares the Comelec will do its job.

House and Senate leaders have agreed to approve a joint resolution seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution to empower Congress to legislate the relaxation or lifting of constitutional limits to foreign investments and foreign ownership of land.

The Comelec is tasked to call a referendum for voters to approve the amendments .