Shift to ConAss can't guarantee quicker Cha-cha, says poll chief

MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.
MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.Photo from Comelec

CHANGING the 1987 Constitution via People's Initiative (PI) or Constituent Assembly (ConAss) will not make a big difference on how the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will process it.

This was according to Comelec Chairman George Garcia, who said that what matters most to them is on when a petition will be filed before the poll body.

"Any mode to change the Constitution -- Constitutional Convention, Constituent Assembly, People’s Initiative -- the bottomline will be the conduct of a plebiscite," said Garcia in an interview on Friday, January 26, 2024.

"The question will always remain to be, when can we hold the plebiscite? That will depend on when a petition will be filed before the Comelec," he added.

The poll chief assured that the Comelec is ready to hold a plebiscite regardless as to which mode it is for.

MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.
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Garcia stressed, though, that it will be harder to hold the plebiscite as 2025 draws closer.

"We are mandated to hold the plebiscite. And we are always prepared to hold a plebiscite," he said.

"However, we cannot hold the plebiscite given the proximity of the national and local elections and the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. The Comelec has a very tight schedule," added Garcia.

MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.
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Earlier, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri filed a resolution calling for the amendment of several economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution via ConAss.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez, which has been linked to the ongoing PI activities, has already expressed support to the Senate initiative. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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