Constituent assembly to amend Constitution should be discussed ‘very carefully’ – Lacson | Inquirer News
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Constituent assembly to amend Constitution should be discussed ‘very carefully’ – Lacson

/ 11:06 PM January 06, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The push for Congress to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution is something that senators have to discuss “very carefully,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday night.

Sen. Francis Tolentino and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa had earlier filed a resolution seeking to convene Congress as a constituent assembly to introduce “limited amendments” to the Constitution.

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“Without the certainty that both chambers of Congress will be voting separately — which there is none due to the vagueness of that particular provision in the 1987 Constitution, and only the Supreme Court can make such interpretation — it’s like taking one big step into a mousetrap, or even a quicksand for that matter,” Lacson said.

“Having said that, I think all of us 24 senators should discuss this matter very carefully before we even consider plenary debates on the said resolution — if indeed there is one filed,” the senator added.

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In the resolution, Tolentino and Dela Rosa said reforms would need to be introduced to the 33-year old Constitution “to aid the country in achieving economic growth, especially during this time of rising global uncertainty.”

The resolution states that the amendments proposed are only “limited to the provisions on democratic representation and the economic provisions of the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he could not say yet if such resolutions would be approved in the upper chamber.

“I can’t really tell. We need a majority vote to approve the resolution and convene but you need a [three-fourths] vote to approve constitutional amendments,” Sotto said in a text message.

A similar resolution has been filed in the House of Representatives by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

Velasco’s resolution, however, only covers certain economic provisions, unlike Tolentino and Dela Rosa’s which include provisions on “democratic representation.”

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TAGS: Bato dela Rosa, Charter change, constituent assembly, Constitution, constitutional amendments, Francis Tolentino, Panfilo Lacson, Ronald dela Rosa
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