Professors, scholars launch signature campaign vs constituent assembly
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Professors and scholars from different academic institutions in the Philippines have started a signature campaign against plans to hold a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
While convening Congress into a Constituent Assembly is one of the 3 ways to revise the charter, the academicians called for a more inclusive and participatory process in constitutional reform. (READ: The problem with Con-Ass? Distrust of Congress)
“Almost 80% of Congress is comprised of political dynasties, and the empirical evidence suggests that a majority of them may face deep conflict of interest if a new constitution aims for reforms that level the political playing field. The risk of capture by vested interests affecting our present politics is too great,” the professors said in a statement.
Citing recent surveys, the professors said now is not the right time to reform the Constitution.
According to the March 2018 Pulse Asia survey, a big majority of Filipinos or 64% oppose charter change. (READ: What you need to know about charter change)
Changing the Constitution also ranked last in the "most urgent national concerns" in Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated's survey, with only 3% of the Filipinos saying that it should be acted upon immediately.
A poll by the Social Weather Stations in March showed that only 37% of Filipinos support the shift to a federal system of government while only one in 4 Filipinos are even aware of what it is.
The professors who signed the manifesto so far include:
- Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ, President, Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan
- Fr. Roberto E. N. Rivera, SJ, President, Ateneo de Naga University
- Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ, President, Ateneo de Zamboanga University
- Fr. Joel E. Tabora SJ, President, Ateneo de Davao University
- Fr. Primitivo E. Viray Jr, SJ, Provincial Superior, Jesuits in the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus
- Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, President, De La Salle Philippines
- Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, President, University of San Carlos
- Edilberto de Jesus, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Asian Institute of Management
- Cielito Habito, PhD, Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University
- Jaime G. Hofileña, Vice President for Social Development, Ateneo de Manila University
- Antonette Palma-Angeles, PhD, Vice President for the Professional Schools, Ateneo de Manila University
- Ronald U. Mendoza, PhD, Dean, Ateneo School of Government
- Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza, DPA, Dean, UP National College of Public Administration and Governance
- Melencio Sta Maria, LLM, Dean, Far Eastern University Institute of Law
- Jose Ramon Albert, PhD, Former President, Philippine Statistical Association
- Hadji Balajadia, MSc, Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, School of Arts and Sciences, Ateneo de Davao University
- Nicole Curato, PhD, Research Fellow, University of Canberra
- Lisandro E. Claudio, PhD, Associate Professor, De La Salle University
- Jay Batongbacal, JSD, University of the Philippines College of Law
- Victor Andres Manhit, MPA, DLSU Associate Professor (Retired) and President of ADR Institute
- Aries A. Arugay, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman
- Maria Ela L. Atienza, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman
- Amado Mendoza Jr, PhD, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman
- Francisco A. Magno, PhD, Director, DLSU Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance
- Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco, LLM, Non-Resident Research Fellow, Ateneo School of Government
- Tomas P. Africa, Former President, Philippine Statistical Association
- Jose V. Camacho Jr, PhD, Professor, University of the Philippines-Los Baños
- Luisito G. Montalbo, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Ateneo Graduate School of Business
- Marcial Orlando A. Balgos Jr, PhD, Chair, Department of Leadership, Ethics, & HR Management, Ateneo Graduate School of Business
- Antonio G. M. La Viña, JSD, Professorial Lecturer of Constitutional Law, University of the Philippines College of Law
- Emilyn Q. Espiritu, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Ateneo de Manila University
- Jan Robert R. Go, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman
- Gerardo T. Los Baños, Department of Communications and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines-Diliman & Deputy Director, UP Press
- Arjan P. Aguirre, MA, Instructor, Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University
- Eirene Jhone E. Aguila, Professor, Far Eastern University Institute of Law
- Imelda Deinla, PhD, Australian National University
- Rene D. Ledesma, Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs, PHINMA University of Iloilo
- Adonis Elumbre, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of History and Philosophy, University of the Philippines-Baguio
- Ian Jayson R. Hecita, Program Manager, DLSU Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance
- Socorro L. Reyes, PhD, Former Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, De La Salle University
- Adelfo V. Briones, Adjuct Professor, Ateneo School of Government, Ateneo de Manila University
- Luisito C Abueg, Graduate Fellow, UP School of Economics
- Emmanuel S. de Guzman, PhD, Professor, Maryhill School of Theology & Loyola School of Theology
- Rejene Tan Lakibul, MPMD, Faculty Member, Department of Political Science, School of Law and Governance, University of San Carlos
- Lloyd C. Bautista, DPA, Vice President, Academics, STI Education Services Group
- Ranilo B. Hermida, PhD, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department, Ateneo de Manila University
- Jose Maria G. Hofileña, Dean, Ateneo Law School
- Gillian Joyce G. Virata, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Roosevelt College, Inc.
- Agnes M. Brazal, PhD, Associate Professor and Research Fellow, De la Salle University
- Jose Mari O. Daclan, Ateneo School of Government
- Bonn Juego, PhD, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
- Loreta Castro, Ed.D, Miriam College
- Ronald D. Holmes, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, De La Salle University
- Keith Einstein R. Pon, Instructor I, Mindanao State University- Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography
- Ivyrose Baysic, Head, Ateneo Policy Center
- Ruth Lusterio-Rico, Phd, Professor, Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman
- Kristine C. Meneses, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Santo Tomas
- Margarita Holmes, Pamatasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila
- Dennis Quilala, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, UP-Diliman
- Ma. Araceli Habaradas, Ateneo Law School
- Mary Racelis, PhD, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University
- Fr. Ramon D. Echica (SThD), Dean of Studies, Faculty of Theology, San Carlos Major Seminary
- Erwin A. Alampay, PhD, Associate Professor, National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines
- JC Punongbayan, PhD candidate, UP School of Economics
- Reinabelle Reyes, PhD, Lecturer, Ateneo de Manila University
- Remmon E. Barbaza, PhD, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Ateneo de Manila University
- Fanny A. Garcia, PhD, Filipino Department, De La Salle University-Manila
- Segundo Joaquin Eclar Romero Jr, Development Studies Program, Ateneo de Manila University
- Michelle Estor, LLM, University of the Philippines College of Law
- Nico B. Valderrama, CPA, MPM, ESQ, Instructor, Arellano University School of Law
- Yvan Ysmael Yonaha, Instructor, University of the Philippines-Los Baños
- Cheryll Soriano, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, De La Salle University-Manila
- Celia M. Austria, University of the Philippines-Baguio
- Czarina Medina-Guce, Faculty, Development Studies Program, Ateneo de Manila University
- Rowena Soriano, Member, Faculty of Law, Ateneo de Manila University and FEU Law; Assistant Professor, Political Science Program, Department of Social Sciences, UP Manila
- Jose Victor Patalinghug, Academic, College of Arts and Sciences, Cebu Institute of Technology- University
- Manuel Victor J. Sapitula, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman
- Ed Garcia, Framer, 1987 Constitution
- Julian Concepcion Jr, Finance & Economics Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Campus
No to ‘no-el’ 2019
The scholars also strongly condemned talks of cancelling the 2019 elections, saying “there are more pressing and immediate policy challenges that our leaders must address,” including the spate of killings in the country and rising prices of goods.
“A constitution is supposed to bind our nation in common values and a shared vision. It is the very glue that should unite us all in common purpose. If we are to amend the constitution, we must invest not just in the outcome, but in the very process,” they said.
“This is a broad discussion that must bring together our citizens from all walks of life, professions and political leanings. It is a national discourse that must allay fears, clarify concerns and bring us all towards common ground,” they added.
The Speaker explained he prefers not to have the elections in 2019 because Congress would be pressed for time to amend the charter. Con-Com chairman Reynato Puno recommends the ratification of the new constitution by May 2019, the same month the midterm polls is scheduled.
The House already approved a joint resolution calling both chambers of Congress to form a Constituent Assembly to amend the charter. The Senate, however, has not acted on it. Senators wanted to ensure that there would be separate voting between chambers should a Con-Ass be formed.
Some senators are also pushing for Constitutional Convention, but Duterte had announced he wanted the faster and cheaper mode of Con-Ass. In the latter, Congress is convened to change the Constitution while in Con-Con the delegates will be elected by the people. – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.