MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin Drilon filed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (Con-Con) to review the 1987 Constitution.
Drilon, for his part, filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 to “determine” if the 1987 Constitution is “still attuned or responsive” to the present times. The members of the convention shall be elected on the last Monday of January 2017, he added.
“The common good would be best served if the review of, and proposals to amend or revise, the Constitution would be made through and by a constitutional convention whose delegates are to be elected by the people for such purpose,” said Drilon in a press statement released on Sunday, July 3.
In order to ensure non-partisanship, Section 3 of the resolution states that:
“No person who is a member of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Resolution shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention.”
The resolution also bars candidates in the May 2016 polls from qualifying as a Con-Con delegate.
Drilon said the Senate and the House of Representatives would have to vote separately on the resolutions.
A Con-Con is one of 3 modes of amending the Constitution. Article XVII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution states, “The Congress may, by a vote of 2/3 of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.”
The other modes are through a people's initiative and a constituent assembly.
The 1987 Constitution specifies that any proposed amendment to the 1987 Constitution must be ratified by a majority of voters in a plebiscite.
For the election of the delegates to the Con-Con, Drilon’s resolution mandates that they shall be elected by administrative regions based on the number of legislative districts.
The candidates, who would also file their respective Certificates of Candidacy before the Commission on Elections, shall have the same qualifications as those required of the members of the House of Representatives
The resolution also bans candidates to represent or allow them to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any organization.
Lastly, any person holding a public office or position, elective or appointive, including members of the armed forces and officers and employees of corporations or enterprises owned and/or controlled by the government shall be considered resigned upon the filing of his/her certificate of candidacy. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org