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Drilon files Con-Con resolution

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has initiated the filing of a joint resolution that calls for a review of the 1987 Constitution by means of a Constitutional Convention at the Senate.

In filing Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, Drilon called for an evaluation of the present Constitution through the creation of a Con-Con that would check “if it is still attuned or responsive to the demands of present-day realities.”

In filing the resolution, Drilon said members of the Con-Con would be mandated to propose amendments and introduce changes to the country’s 29-year-old Charter.

The Senate leader’s filing of the joint resolution comes in the heels of a House resolution calling on the House of Representatives and the Senate to amend the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly and pave way for the shift to a federalism form of government for the Philippines, which President Duterte has vowed to pursue in his six-year term.

In the explanatory note of the resolution, Drilon acknowledged the need to re-examine the Constitution to determine if its provisions can still keep up with the demands of the present.

“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,” Drilon said.

Under Section 3 of the resolution, Drilon said no person who is a member of the Congress at the time of the adoption of the resolution shall be qualified as a candidate for election as delegate to the Con-Con.

The Senate leader said this is to maintain the non-partisan nature of the process. The same resolution also prohibits candidates in the May 2016 elections from being part of the delegates to the Con-Con.

“Neither shall any person who filed his/her certificate of candidacy in the election of May 9, 2016 shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention,” he stated.

Based on the time frame suggested in the measure, members of the Con-Con shall be elected by January of next year and the Convention shall meet on the first working day of September 2017. (Hannah L. Torregoza)