CBCP to Duterte: We’re okay with ‘Con-Con’ | Inquirer News
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CBCP to Duterte: We’re okay with ‘Con-Con’

/ 06:07 PM May 13, 2016
Rodrigo Duterte

Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a news conference shortly after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was the last to vote among five presidential hopefuls. AP FILE PHOTO

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday said it is open to a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) amid plans of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to amend the Philippine Constitution.

Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani of the Diocese of Novaliches explained that a Con-Con can reflect the views of the people.

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“Sa Constitutional Convention hindi tumututol ang simbahan, open tayo sa isang Constitutional Convention, ang kinalaban ng simbahan noon ay ang constitutional change through the Congress mismo, sila mismo ang magdetermina ang maganda dyan,” he said over Radyo Veritas.

READ: Con-con, isusulong ni Duterte sa unang tatlong taon sa pwesto

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(The Church does not oppose a Constitutional Convention, we are open to it and what we are countering is a constitutional change through Congress where the lawmakers themselves decide on issues.)

After baring Duterte’s 8-point economic plan, the Duterte camp said the Constitution will have to be amended to lift laws that restrict foreign investments.

READ: Duterte team unveils 8-point economic plan

Last year, Duterte also said that he prefers Con-Con instead of a constitutional assembly if there will be a shift from a unitary to a federal form of government.

In the Philippines, there are three methods to amend the Constitution: Con-Con, Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) and People’s Initiative. Con-Con involves electing representatives through a special election. The resulting amendment must then be ratified by voters.

Bacani, chairman of the CBCP Committee on Public Affairs, said the Con-Con should include representatives from different sectors of society.

“Kung merong ganyan na magiging representative ng mga tao hindi tayo tututol diyan sapagkat ang konstitusyon sabi nga ay isang buhay na dokumento yan hindi patay at dapat na i-akma sa pangangailangan ng panahon at kung may nakita na mga provision na hindi na nakakatulong o less helpful sa ngayon kinakailangan ng palitan na kahit na may constitutional means,” he said.

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(If we will have representatives of the people we will not object because the Constitution, as they say, is a document that has its own life. We should adapt to the changing times and if we see provisions that are not helpful or less helpful, we should change it even through constitutional means.)

The Constitution currently restricts foreign ownership to 40 percent of certain businesses. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Con-Con, constitutional convention, Philippine Constitution, Rodrigo Duterte
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