Draft constitution ready before Duterte SONA

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2018 04:51 PM

President Duterte delivers his 2nd State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, 2017. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Malacañang’s consultative committee on Thursday agreed to submit its proposed constitution on July 19 less than a week before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address.

The committee headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno will have 124 working days in what one member, political science professor Edmund Tayao, hoped would produce a new draft constitution "that really fits the unique conditions of the country."

Actual drafting will take place from Feb. 20 to April 20, according to a copy of the committee calendar obtained by ABS-CBN News.

Former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. said hearings, which will be conducted from Monday to Friday, should be "open to the public.”

"Walang sikreto (No secrets)," said Pimentel, one of the oldest members of the committee. 

Tayao said proceedings could also be streamed live on social media.

"Members are of no illusion that we will be able to satisfy and meet all the expectations. We will do our best," he told reporters following the committee’s preparatory meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The 19-member committee will take their oath before the President on Feb. 13 then formally convene on Feb. 19.

Congressional leaders have made it clear the committee’s proposal would be recommendatory as efforts are also underway in both chambers to draft a new federal constitution.