Monsod asks lawmakers: Tell us exactly which parts of Constitution should be changed

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2023 06:36 PM

MANILA — Tell us exactly which parts of the country's main charter should be changed.

This is the call of 1987 Constitution framer Christian Monsod to lawmakers amid fresh efforts in the House of Representatives to amend the charter.

The lower chamber's House Committee on Constitutional Amendments began last week hearings on proposals to revise the Constitution.

As a resource person during the hearing, Monsod said the chamber did not present a complete agenda on why they want to amend the charter.

"Tell us exactly which contents of Constitution you want to change," he said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart".

"Ano ang complete agenda nitong proposal for charter change? Hindi 'yung patago na malalaman na lang na, 'Ah sinama ito,'" he said.

(What is the complete agenda of the proposal for charter change? It shouldn't be underhanded or later shock us into saying, 'Oh this was included.') 

Once it is convened, the constitutional convention will have plenary powers, Monsod noted. 

"It can do what it wants. It cannot be limited by legislation or Congress," he said. 

Monsod supports the proposal of holding a national dialogue about the Constitution. 

He said 73 percent of Filipinos "know nothing or very little" about the charter, citing a survey.

He also noted that the country is facing a lot of problems, such as inflation.

Amending the Constitution is also not part of the Marcos administration's agenda, he added.

"It's time for the President to clarify his position on this," Monsod said.

Previous efforts to amend the 1987 charter were unsuccessful but that did not discourage the House panel from starting deliberations on 5 proposals to call an elected constitutional convention.

A member of the 2005 Consultative Commission has proposed to remove term limits for lawmakers and local officials, set two 6-year terms for the president and vice president, and elect 48 senators by region.

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