Monsod: Constitution is not the problem, it’s part of the solution
MANILA, Philippines – Amid push to amend the 1987 Constitution, one of its framers said Thursday that the charter is not the problem, but rather a part of the solution.
Lawyer Christian Monsod made the remark as the Senate committee on constitutional amendments commenced its discussion on the possibility of amending the charter.
According to Monsod, the country has “largely failed in human development” not due to the Constitution, but rather because “we haven’t implemented it”, particularly the provisions on social justice and human rights.
“This is the Constitution that is blamed as the source of our problems today… In other words, ‘our problems today can all be traced to the Constitution’, I don’t think that is logical,” Monsod said during the hearing.
“I would argue instead that we have largely failed in human development not because of the Constitution, but because we haven’t implemented it, especially its provisions on social justice and human rights and local autonomy. The Constitution is not the problem, it is part of the solution,” he added.
Monsod said the crafting of the 1987 Constitution was not just the “restoration of democracy” following the 1986 EDSA Revolution as it was also a “promise to the poor.”
He said that there are three central themes of the 1987 Constitution: social justice and human rights with the poor as the center of development, prohibiting the return of authoritarianism in any form, and prohibiting foreign domination of the country’s economy.
“The inspiration of the 1987 Constitution was EDSA. But EDSA was more than the restoration of democracy through peaceful means, it was also the promise, especially to the poor, of a new social order with radical changes because our present social order is rooted in a feudalistic system of dynasties that has been impervious to change for generations,” Monsod said.
Nonetheless, Monsod said he is not against any amendments to the Constitution.
He said he supports bloc voting for a presidential and vice presidential tandem, removal of the quasi-judicial functions of the Commission on Elections, amendments to the Judicial Bar and Council, and additional protection for the archipelagic character of the country’s territory.
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