NO LESS than outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon said he would go for a constitutional convention (con-con) in connection with the possibility of a charter change under the leadership of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Drilon, in a press conference, said charter change is inevitable but maintained that it should be done by means of a con-con, through an independent body, which he said must also have a definite period or deadline.
Drilon who has been a Cabinet secretary and a very close ally of the late President Corazon Aquino admitted that the 1987 Constitution already needs some revision but he maintained that the process should be done openly through an independent body.
"Sige mag con-con tayo, pero dapat two o three taon ang inyong pagdedebate, at iharap niyo na sa taumbayan. Hinde pwedeng sabihin na, 'O con-con, bahala na kayo sa buhay ninyo.' Baka 10 taon kayo magdebate. Hindi po pwedeng ganoon," Drilon told reporters in an interview.
It was reported that the House of Representatives as early as now, has been pushing for revising the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for a federal system of government under the incoming administration of Duterte.
Drilon said con-con is a little costly but this will protect the people in the creation of a new Constitution.
Earlier, incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he would push for a plebiscite that would ratify the amended Constitution during the midterm 2019 elections.
He said while Duterte wanted a constitutional convention, which Alvarez said may be too costly, he was considering the formation of a constitutional commission composed of experts to craft a new Charter, which was done by the late President Aquino in creating the 1987 Constitution.
Alvarez said he wanted to amend the Constitution in the first half of Duterte's six-year administration, and to put in place a transition government in the second half to pave the way for a completely federal state of the Philippines.
He said the revision of the Constitution may also include easing the restrictive economic provisions against foreign ownership and even lifting the term limits of public officials.
Alvarez said once a federal system of government is in place, there would be no need for the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the pet bill of the administration of outgoing President Benigno Aquino III whose government signed a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
But Drilon maintained that this move must be carefully done in order to protect the country and the Filipino people from possible abuse.
Drilon said crafting a new Charter must be done in coordination with the different sectors for checks and balance. (Sunnex)