MANILA - Instead of a constituent assembly, a minority lawmaker is pushing for charter change through a constitutional convention, where the people will elect delegates who will draft a new constitution.
Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza said previous attempts to change the charter through a constituent assembly were rejected by the people due to fears of lawmakers introducing self-serving amendments.
"If we again insist on a constituent assembly, we clearly risk repeating the blunders of the past, and we might lose this great opportunity for our nation to embrace a whole new Constitution," he said Sunday.
The House senior deputy minority leader said a constitutional convention may cost more than a constituent assembly in terms of time and budget, but he believes this would be a "sensible investment" for the future of the Filipinos.
He added that President Rodrigo Duterte was advocating for a constitutional convention when he was running for office in 2016.
"This is the first time in more than 30 years that we will be rewriting the Constitution. We might as well invest wisely in perfecting a truly responsive and highly relevant new charter through a constitutional convention," Atienza said.
A House resolution is calling for Congress to vote jointly in a bid to change the charter through a constituent assembly. But Senator Panfilo Lacson is set to file a resolution that will require the Senate to convene as a constituent assembly separate from the House.
A three-fourth vote of members of the Congress to convene a constituent assembly.