Marcos Fact Checks

FALSE: Cory Aquino handpicked 48 persons to draft Constitution for business, foreign interests

Rappler.com
FALSE: Cory Aquino handpicked 48 persons to draft Constitution for business, foreign  interests
The 1986 Constitutional Commission, created through Aquino's Proclamation No. 9, s. 1986, was composed of 48 national, regional, and sectoral representatives who were chosen through a nomination process
At a glance
  • Claim: President Corazon Aquino handpicked 48 men and women, including suspected communists, to draft her own Constitution to accommodate the interests of oligarchs and foreign influences.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The 1986 Constitutional Commission, created through Aquino’s Proclamation No. 9, s. 1986, was composed of 48 national, regional, and sectoral representatives who were chosen through a nomination process.
  • Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the post by Facebook account “Kaalaman PH Media” has reached more than 9,200 reactions, 2,900 comments, and 11,000 shares.
Complete details

Facebook page Kaalaman PH Media posted on March 8 that President Corazon Aquino, driven by her hate towards Ferdinand Marcos, selected 48 men and women, including suspected communists, to draft her own Constitution to accommodate the interests of oligarchs and foreign influences.

The claims in this statement are false.

The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines was drafted by a Constitutional Commission (ConCom), which was created through President Corazon Aquino’s Proclamation No. 9, s. 1986.

Based on “The Chronology of the 1987 Philippine Constitution” by University of the Philippines political scientist Maria Ela Atienza, Aquino invited the public in April 1986 to submit nominations to the ConCom. The nominees were endorsed by various political groups and sectors. Their names were published in the major newspapers along with the individuals and organizations which endorsed them.

The first 44 appointees were announced on May 25, 1986, during the “reunion of EDSA heroes,” which was held at Camp Aguinaldo. The remaining four slots were eventually filled by Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), a political party founded by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1978.

The 48 members of the Constitutional Commission (ConCom) consisted of national, regional, and sectoral representatives. They collectively drafted the current Constitution of the Philippines. Former Supreme Court justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma, the first woman appointed to the SC, was the ConCom president, while former senator Ambrosio Padilla was the vice president. Napoleon G. Rama was the floor leader, while Ahmad Domocao Alonto and Jose D. Calderon were assistant floor leaders.

The other members of the ConCom were: Yusuf R. Abubakar, Felicitas S. Aquino, Adolfo S. Azcuna, Teodoro C. Bacani, Jose F. S. Bengzon, Jr, Ponciano L. Bennagen, Joaquin G. Bernas, Florangel Rosario Braid, Crispino M. de Castro, Jose C. Colayco, Roberto R. Concepcion, Hilario G. Davide, Jr, Vicente B. Foz, Edmundo G. Garcia, Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon, Serafin V.C. Guingona, Alberto M. K. Jamir, Jose B. Laurel, Jr, Eulogio R. Lerum, Regalado E. Maambong, Christian S. Monsod, Teodulo C. Natividad, Ma. Teresa F. Nieva, Jose N. Molledo, Blas F. Ople, Minda Luz M. Quesada, Florenz D. Regalado, Rustico F. de los Reyes, Jr, Cirilo A. Rigos, Francisco A. Rodrigo, Ricardo J. Romulo, Decoroso R. Rosales, Rene V. Sarmiento, Jose E. Suarez, Lorenzo M. Sumulong, Jaime S. L. Tadeo, Christine O. Tan, Gregorio J. Tingson, Efrain B. Trenas, Lugum L. Uka, Wilfrido V. Villacorta, and Bernardo M. Villegas.

Represented in the ConCom were lawyers, businessmen, politicians, landlords, health professionals, religious leaders, labor and peasant leaders, university professors, and journalists.

According to the Official Gazette’s “The 1987 Constitution: A chronological narrative,” three options were considered in drafting the 1987 Constitution: to do away with all Marcosian influence and return to the 1935 Constitution; to retain the 1973 Constitution promulgated under Marcos; and have a fresh start from the vestiges of a disgraced dictatorship, as suggested by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, and others.

In effect, the 1987 Constitution was amended as a direct response to the Marcosian dictatorship.

The draft Constitution was approved by the ConCom on October 12, 1986, and presented to Aquino on October 15, 1986. It was ratified by Filipino voters in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987, and was proclaimed in force on February 11, 1987. – Joann Manabat/Rappler.com

Joann Manabat is a Luzon-based journalist and a recipient of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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