Gomez says he convinced Romualdez to back con-ass to amend 1987 Constitution
MANILA, Philippines — Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez on Thursday said he convinced Speaker Martin Romualdez to support constitutional assembly (con-ass) as the mode of amending the 1987 Constitution.
During a press briefing with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Thursday, Gomez said he was able to convince Romualdez during a Party Leaders’ meeting on Tuesday.
“When we reported to our Speaker, he said yes, kasi ang proseso ng House ‘pag hindi pareho yung hakbang namin, in this case nasa Con-con (constitutional convention) kami, ang Senate con-ass, ‘pag hindi pareho ‘yung lakbay namin magkikita naman sa bicam (bicameral conference), and then sa bicam they will come up with a resolution,” said Gomez when asked if the House would now support con-ass.
(When we reported to our Speaker, he said yes, because the House process is if our steps are not the same, in this case, we are in con-con, the Senate con-ass, if the journey is not the same, we will meet in bicam, and then in bicam, they will come up with a resolution.)
“The Speaker said that if the Senate will come out with a version of the Con-ass then we will go for it,” he added.
When asked how he could convince Romualdez, Gomez said that he did so through debates and public consultations.
“Because it was debate[d] well, it was heard well, maraming (there were a lot of) public consultations in the different parts of the country,” said Gomez.
The PDP-Laban, for its part, said that it would settle with whatever direction the two Chambers decide.
The House of Representatives voted to amend the 1987 constitution through Con-con.
But Senator Robinhood Padilla, also the leading proponent of charter change in the Senate, previously insisted that Con-ass was the appropriate way to amend the 36-year-old Constitution and convince the rest of the senators.
Many senators have continued to express that there is no need for Constitutional amendments, citing President Ferdinand “Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., who said it is not a priority.
Inquirer.net has already sought confirmation from Romualdez’s office but has yet to receive a response as of writing.