Puno: Opting for Con-ass over Con-con because it’s cheaper is ‘a cheap argument’
To say that lawmakers should resort to a Constituent assembly (Con-ass) because it would be cheaper is a “cheap argument,” former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Reynato Puno said on Wednesday.
At a joint Senate hearing into the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha), Puno said he is in favor of a Constitutional convention (Con-con) even though it would be costly for the government.
The former top magistrate suggested a “hybrid Con-con” that would be a “mixture of elected and non-elected” individuals, and which elected delegates should be chosen based on their platform.
“That’s a cheap argument. We should not count the cost of writing a Constitution because a good Constitution is the best investment a people can make,” Puno pointed out.
Puno likewise agreed that there is a need to “reexamine the Constitution” because it “was done in haste because former President Corazon Aquino did not want to rule under freedom Constitution.’
Reacting to the statement of former SC Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. that a “shift to federalism is a lethal experiment. A fatal leap. A plunge to death. A leap to hell,” Puno said that while shift to federalism spawned opposition, he “has not been to hell so (he) does not know how to answer Davide.”
Last week, stalwarts of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), announced that they would urge Congress to convene into a Con-ass.
They asserted that a Con-ass is a cheaper and practical approach compared to a separate election of delegates to form a Con-con, which could cost the government about P7 billion. /kga
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