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Makabayan opposes proposed Con-Ass

/ 06:03 PM July 28, 2016

The Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives on Thursday opposed the proposed Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) for amending the Constitution that will pave the way for a federal form of government.

Makabayan urged  Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to reconsider his stance favoring Con-Ass for Charter change, saying it was prone to abuse by lawmakers belonging to political dynasties.

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READ: Alvarez: Congress to form Con-Ass to change Charter

“Con-ass will not be acceptable to the people as they perceive Congress to be dominated by political dynasties and fear that vested and self-serving interests would inevitably influence proposed changes to the Constitution. This is evident in the public outcry against Con-Ass, particularly in social media, which has been fast and furious,” Makabayan said in a statement.

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“Makabayan will strongly oppose any effort to revise the Constitution that will do away with its protectionist economic provisions, remove the anti-dynasty clause, and lift term limits of elected officials,” it added.

The group said they were open to Charter change if it will empower the poor and marginalized, promote national industrialization, agrarian reform, and equitable distribution of wealth through a mode acceptable to the people “but certainly not through Constituent Assembly.”

Alvarez on Thursday said it was decided that Congress will form into a Con-Ass to revise the Constitution in a post-National Security Council meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Koko Pimentel, and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Alvarez said the timetable for the transition to federalism will be a year to amend the Charter, ratification during the 2019 midterm elections, and implementation of the new Constitution in the 2022 national elections. JE/rga

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TAGS: Charter change, Con-Ass, constituent assembly, House of Representatives, Makabayan, Makabayan bloc, Pantaleon Alvarez
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