Senate debates on proposed Charter amendments to start next week
The Senate will start next week discussions on the proposed amendments or revision of the 1987 Constitution, Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon announced on Wednesday.
“Let the debates begin,” Drilon, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, said in a statement.
He said his committee will first hold its hearing of the controversial measure on December 8.
“This committee understands the importance of this undertaking in the agenda of the current administration so we will ensure that it is given the utmost priority,” Drilon said.
“We will hear all views and opinions of the various sectors on these issues,” he added.
Drilon said the committee has invited resource persons from various sectors including the business community, labor, academe, civil society, sectoral and religious groups, as well as respected constitutional and legal experts and former Supreme Court justices.
Among them are former Chief Justices Hilario Davide Jr., Reynato Puno and Artemio Panganiban; former Associate Justices Adolfo Azcuna, Antonio Nachura, and Vicente Mendoza; recognized constitutional experts Fr. Joaquin Bernas and Atty. Christian Monsod; and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
He said the panel will also invite some members of the Cabinet, including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Makati Business Club chairman Ramon Del Rosario Jr., among others.
Drilon said the initial hearing would focus on the following key issues: Is there a need to amend or revise the Constitution? What parts of the Constitution should be revised or amended? Should the amendments or revision be done through a Constitutional Convention or a Constituent Assembly? And if it’s a Constituent Assembly, should the Senate and the House of Representatives vote jointly or separately?
“All these must be and will be thoroughly considered, guided by the principle that the vehicle we choose must be democratic, participatory, and inclusive,” the senator said. IDL
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