Senate hearings on Charter change to start Dec. 8—Drilon
Expect the Charter change war to begin in earnest on Dec. 8, Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
Drilon, chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, made the announcement in an INQ&A interview on Tuesday evening.
“I will have the first public hearing on Dec. 8 by the time the budget is already in the bicameral conference committee, so we have free time,” Drilon said.
“The topics will be, number one, is there a need to amend the Constitution, and why. If there is a need, what’s the best move? Through a constitutional convention or a constituent assembly. If through con-con, how many delegates do we have? If through con-ass, will the two chambers be voting separately or jointly? These are the questions that should be resolved,” he added.
Last month, the House of Representatives constitutional amendments committee approved the concurrent resolution calling on Congress to convene in an assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. The committee also formed a technical working group to consolidate bills calling for Con-ass.
Congress is discussing Charter change following the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to pave the way for a federal form of government, an integral part of his campaign.
Drilon said “full blast” hearings will be in January, but they will already start next month.
“I have invited several resource persons who hopefully can shed light on the various issues and present to the people the issues involved,” he said.
Drilon expressed confidence that fellow senators are open to amending the Charter.
“I think my colleagues will have an open mind in amending the Constitution, especially because it has been 30 years since it was crafted and a lot of things have changed,” he added.
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