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Duterte vows: Constitutional changes to be pro-Filipino

President: Constitution to be responsive to people's will; no to vested interests in Congress; no more partylists
By: - Bureau Chief / @inqmindanao
/ 08:17 AM July 30, 2016

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte has vowed to make sure that changes in the Constitution will be responsive to the will of the people.

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“I will not allow a Constitution that is anti-Filipino,” he said, on Friday, after visiting the wounded militiamen who were ambushed in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on Wednesday.

The President said his administration decided to have a constituent assembly, instead of a constitutional convention, to save on money.

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The President said with a constitutional convention, government would spend billions of pesos.  Delegates to the Con-con will have to be elected by the people and the Philippine government will have to organize a support staff for the convention and finance its daily operations until it finishes its work of re-writing the Constitution.

A constituent assembly is basically a joint session of Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate and therefore, government would not have to spend much more in convening the assembly and running the support staff.

Mr. Duterte allayed the public’s  fear that lawmakers sitting as a Constitutional Convention would end up serving their interests.

“Besides, I will be there,” he said.

“When worse comes to worst, they (lawmakers) know what will happen,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte said the Con-Ass  “can only come up with a Constitution that is responsive to the will of the people.”

“And I will be there to read what you have worked on,” the President said.

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But the President said he wanted the Partylist system stricken out of the Constitution.

“It will never come again,” Mr, Duterte said.

“With a new Constitution, I will insist no partylist,” Mr. Duterte added.

The President said party list groups have “abused” the system, with the rich organizing their own groups.

“Representing what? Security guards?” he said.

“That’s a mockery of the law,” the President added.  SFM

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