Lagman: Con-ass will be Duterte’s ‘virtual rubberstamp’
Once Congress is converted into a constituent assembly (con-ass) to amend the 1987 Constitution, it would only become “a virtual rubberstamp” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This was the assertion of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Thursday, as he reiterated his call to instead hold a constitutional convention (con-con), which members should be elected by the people, to proceed with Charter change (Cha-cha).
“A strong argument, if not the strongest, against constituting the House of Representatives and the Senate into a constituent assembly is that the super majority solons will convert the constituent assembly into a virtual rubber stamp of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Lagman said in a statement.
“With the projected constituent assembly principally composed of Duterte’s dyed in the wool allies, what the President wants as amendments or revision will be delivered with alacrity and minimal debate,” he said.
The “imprudent fast tracking,” according to Lagman, has been evident since Congress approved twice the extensions of martial law in Mindanao, and House lawmakers sanctioned the re-imposition of death penalty.
Both the House and Senate leaderships have declared that the shift into federal government would be a priority measure this year.
“Verily, a constitutional convention must be called where the delegates are elected by the sovereign people to singularly and precisely propose amendments to or revision of the 1987 Constitution,” he said.
Lagman pointed out that a con-con should not be a “question of expense but a matter of independence and integrity.”
“We must not count centavos and pesos in undertaking a charter change by asserting that a constituent assembly is less expensive than holding a constitutional convention,” he also said. /kga
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