Constitution is not revised willy-nilly, says Nat’l Security Adviser Carlos
MANILA, Philippines— The 1987 Constitution cannot be revised willy-nilly or piece by piece, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos said on Friday.
Suppose there is a need to change the Constitution. In that case, it should be an omnibus revision, Carlos said during the Senate committee hearing on constitutional amendments and revision of codes on Charter change proposal.
“When we are going to revise the Constitution, dapat omnibus ang revision mo kasi bawat section dun na papalitan mo ay meron syang mga pinsan sa other sections. Magmo-move lahat sya e. They will all be moving parts,” she said.
“So I’m sorry, I apologize if I go against the notion that you can in fact revise the Constitution piecemeal, you can’t. Otherwise we will be wasting our time, and some other time we will again revise the Constitution and we don’t like to do that.”
Carlos stressed that the Constitution is the nation’s supreme law and must not be changed on a whim.
“It’s not revised willy-nilly,” she said.
“It’s not as if you know ganito ang kapritso natin ngayon, we change it. No, we don’t. We’re changing it because we want structural change. We want structural change because we want behavior change,” she added.
Being part of a group doing political education as early as 1989, Carlos underscored the need to have an informed citizenry about proposals to change the Constitution.
She said her group was neither advocating a federal nor parliamentary form of government.
But during the hearing, Carlos centered her discussions on the possible shift to a parliamentary system from the current presidential form of government.
She said there will be “no notion of term limits in a parliamentary system.”
“If you’re elected as a member of parliament, you can be elected as long as you’re alive or can continue to discourse in parliament,” she said.
“No term limits. Even political dynasties will be irrelevant,” she further said, noting that there are only political dynasties because of term limits.
However, Carlos said the prime minister and government may be ousted under a parliamentary form of government based on a single policy decision.
“You don’t need people power. You just oust him,” she said, responding to the query of committee chairman Senator Robin Padilla.