Robredo favors Constitutional Convention to amend charter

Patty Pasion
Robredo favors Constitutional Convention to amend charter
Vice President Leni Robredo says a Con-Con allows for people's participation, and will allow lawmakers to focus on their legislative duties

MANILA, Philippines – If she would have it her way, Vice President Leni Robredo said that a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) is the “ideal way” to amend the country’s Constitution to pave the way for a federal system of government.

“If we really want people’s participation and to concentrate on the job of amending the Constitution, Con-Con is a better option,” Robredo, an advocate of empowering people in far-flung communities, said during a press briefing on Wednesday, August 3.

Being a lawmaker herself in the 16th Congress, Robredo said be part of a Constituent Assembly “is over and above the regular duties of the members of Congress.”

Con-Con and Constituent Assembly are two of 3 modes allowed to amend the Constitution. Con-Con calls for an election or appointment of a body separate from Congress to change the constitution. A Constituent Assembly, on the other hand, turns Congress into a body that changes the Constitution by a vote of ¾ of all its members. (READ: How do you want to elect your Con-Con delegates?

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier favored Con-Con. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a resolution calling for a Con-Con even before the 17th Congress opened in July.

During the National Security Council meeting on July 27, however, Duterte said that he now prefers to push for federalism through Constituent Assembly because it will cost less for the government.

He also argued that this would expedite the process of a shift since he is eyeing the period between 2019 and 2022 as the transition phase for federalism.  

Lawmakers from both the Senate and House of Representatives have been divided on the issue. 

On Monday, Alvarez proposed the creation of a Constitutional Commission that will aid Congress, acting as a Constituent Assembly, in drafting the amendments. – Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.