Conflict brews over Con-Ass


CONFLICT is brewing over how to overhaul the 1987 Constitution as President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed he would pursue Charter change through a Constituent Assembly instead of a costly Constitutional Convention, even threatening to abolish the party-list system.

Differing views emerged among lawmakers, and political analysts urged Duterte to take the public pulse first before making a final push for Con-Ass.

On Friday, Duterte said he would push for Con-Ass to save money.

“I don’t want Con-Con. Why? It’s expensive. It will cost billions,” Duterte said in Davao del Norte, where he visited the wake of a militiaman slain by communist rebels.

Duterte vowed to personally ensure that the constitutional amendments won’t be “anti-Filipino.”

“Count on that. That is the job of the President,” he said.

On Thursday, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a key Duterte ally told businessmen in Makati the President’s preference was for a Con-Ass, and this was reached following the National Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

Alvarez pointed out that a Con-Con would cost up to P7 billion.

The shift to a federal form of government through a Con-Con was a campaign promise of Duterte.

A political analyst warned that Duterte’s sudden change of position could give birth to an anti-Charter change movement.

Ramon Casiple said attempts in the past to change the Constitution did not push through because lawmakers wanted it done through Con-Ass.

“The reason why people find Charter change acceptable is because of Con-Con. If it’s not Con-Con then we can expect an anti-Charter change movement developing,” Casiple said in a phone interview.

Ed Tayao, political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas, said Duterte’s preference for Con-Ass was logical because of the costs involved in calling for a Con-Con.

“The question is how this will be acceptable to the public, considering that the two chambers, especially the House of Representatives, may not enjoy the same popularity as the President,” Tayao said.

He warned that “popularity can vanish instantly without anyone anticipating, and unpopular decisions are usual triggers to slash popularity overnight.”

Lawmakers weighed in on Friday, with Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd saying: “We should just appoint a council of elders to oversee the con-ass like Fr. Joaquin Bernas and others.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson said that there were matters that should be resolved first, such as whether the House and Senate would vote jointly or separately in a Con-Ass.

The House of Representatives has more than 290 members while Senate only has 24, and voting jointly would make the votes of the senators insignificant.

“Then, there’s still the issue of public acceptability that we will have to grapple with as members of Congress become natural suspects in advancing their own agenda,” Lacson said.

Senator Richard Gordon backed Duterte, saying Con-Ass would be the least expensive approach.

‘Like zombies’

In the House, opposition lawmakers said Con-Ass would suppress the people’s will.

“Leaving the task of amending the Constitution to Congress alone will naturally mean that the lawmakers will not pass any law that will be detrimental to their interest,” Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat said in a statement.

A Constitutional Assembly under a “Super Majority” in both chambers of Congress “is like having zombies to rewrite our Constitution,” Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said in a separate statement.


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  1. ronel padilla on

    pang gulo lang kc yang mga partylist na yan,iabolish na dapat yan!unahin na itong hawak ni mikee romero na 1pacman pangdutugas.

  2. pineperahan lang nila ang taong bayan gamit ang mga partylist na yan.dapat na itong alisin lalong lalo na ang 1pacman dahil corrupt
    ang congressman nila na si mikee romero.

  3. sana talaga maalis na ang mga partylist,ginagamit lang ito ng iba para maka pang dugas na gaya ni mikee romero,dapat dyan nabubulok sa kulungan.

  4. nagagamit nila ang partylist para mkapagnakaw.dapat lang na alisin na yan at sana unahin ang hawak ni mikee romero.wala naman kc nagawa.

  5. clark solomon on

    alisin na yang partylist na yan,wala naman nagagawa eh tulad ng 1pacman na si mikee romero ang congressman.pangdurugas lang ang alam

  6. laban digong!iabolish yang mga partylist na yan,para hindi na nila magamit sa pangungurakot.unahin na yang 1pacman
    para hindi na makahasik ng kasamaan si mikee romero.

  7. ano nanaman kc ang ginagawa ng partylist na yan eh puro lang panghuhuthot ang ginagawa nila,gaya ni mikee romero puro sarili lang ang iniisip ginagamit lang ang 1pacman.

  8. Count me in against Con Ass congress can’t be trusted. Better if Pres. Duterte will be the one to appoint people of proven integrity to set as delegates to change or amend our constitution, at least people trust him, provided that those delegates are not relatives of the incumbent political officials to prevent the introduction of the provision of political dynasty.

  9. gerald lopez on

    tama yan president digong,wala naman nagagawa ang mga partylist.dapat na tlaga itong iabolish dahil nagagamit lang nila ito para sa pang sariling interes.paki una na ang 1pacman na hawak ni mikee romero.

  10. dapat lang maabolish ang mga partylist,ginagamit lang nila ito para mkapag nakaw eh,
    tingnan nyo ang ginagawa ni mikee romero ksama pa ang asawa nya,mga walang konsenya.

  11. Partylist has no advantage in our country! So it should be right to abolish it. Wala ng silbi ang mga association o grupo na bumubuo ng mga Representative, dahil sa katulad natin na napaniwala at naloko na ni Mikee Romero wla ng lakas pang maniwala na may magandang naidudulot ang pggamit ng Partylist dahil isang daan nlng to sa korapsyon

  12. Shaina Gomez on

    This is the beginning of change of our country kaya sang ayon aq dito sa pgtnggal ng mga Partylist dahil ito lng naman ang rason kung bakit pa ang Pinas humaharap ng kahirapan at mas rumarami ang mga npapabalita n theft case dahil isa n dito si Mikee Romero na congressman ng 1Pacman partylist na nnumero unong magnanakaw

  13. Jessie Mendenilla on

    ipush n tong abolisasyon ng Parttylist dahil wla naman tong natutulong sa ating bansa e, para matnggal n din ang mga nsa position kagaya ni Mikee Romero na wlang inatupag kundi ang mgdugas ng pera ng para dapat sa bayan!

  14. RenegadeAko1970 on

    Ano nangyari bat biglang naging ConAs yung planong ConCon what happen in between, yung mga elected official sa ConAss totoo bang hinalal ng taong bayan, kahit anong klase ng sistema ng gobyerno at kung ang mamumuno ay kurakot pa rin parang aso lang yan na binihisan pero aso pa rin

  15. present senators and congressmen were voted to craft laws NOT re-write the constitution. con-con is the best way to do it. costly yes but it’s devoid of politics and the end-result is good draft constitution. panalo ang bansa!

  16. Mallows Monterde on

    ayos yan! alisin na mga partylist para di na makapagdugas tong si mikee romero at sheila romero!!!

    • Ano ba ang ginagawa ng party list? They are repesenting very few Pilipino. Look Atienza, natalo lang sa Mayor ng Manila nag-organize ng party list at nanalo naman ang kulokoy. Sayang ang pina susuweldo sa kanila.

  17. super agree jan pres. du30 sa pag abolish ng partylist sna agad agad mapatupad n yan para d na makapangurakot pa yng si mikee romero na leader ng 1-pacman partylist.

  18. George Dominguez on

    dapat naman talagang alisin na sa eksena ang mga party list na yan, di naman masyadong nakakatulong. eto ang paraan para matigil na ang mga politikong mandurugas. mandurugas tulad ni mikee romero at asawa nyang si sheila.

  19. Francis Montalban on

    Yung iba ngang bansa walang partylist na yan eh. Dito lang ata yan sa pilipinas at ang masama pa ay ginagamit ito ng mga tulad ni mikee romero para matabunan ang mga kalokohan nya at para makapagnakaw sya sa pamahalaan natin

  20. Andresito l. Caceres on

    I agree with the views of Mr baguilat and villain. Constitutional convention is the best way