Con-con better than con-ass for Charter change, says minority senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2018 09:39 AM | Updated as of May 16 2019 02:48 PM

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MANILA - A minority senator believes a constitutional convention (con-con) is the better mode than the proposed constituent assembly in amending the charter. 

Speaking to ANC Thursday, Senator Bam Aquino said a constitutional convention will leave no room in the people's minds to think that lawmakers have self-serving interests in changing the Constitution. 

"I'm partial to con-con, and this was my resolution before, para walang masabing self-serving provisions to extend ourselves, to extend terms, take away term limits, take away safeguards... 
Kapag hindi politiko ang nagde-decide, at least masasabi nating walang nagawang self-serving," he said.

The senator's statement comes amid pronouncements from several lawmakers, including House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, that a no-election scenario in 2019 is possible. 

The House of Representatives is currently pushing for a constituent assembly where a three-fourths vote of Congress is required to amend the charter. The House proposes a joint voting.

Aquino admits a constitutional convention, where people will elect delegates of a commission that will draft a new charter, may take time but stressed that charter change shouldn't be rushed.

"Nakakarinig ka na sa May, sisimulan na ang plebisito. Parang di naman tama 'yun, na in 3 to 4 months, bigla-bigla na lang, tapos na ang draft ng constitution," he said.

If Congress agrees to convene as a constituent assembly, he said voting should be done separately as the nature of the legislative is bicameral. 

The Senate committee that will handle matters on amendments in the charter is a member of the minority, Senator Kiko Pangilinan.