Congress must choose viable solution to proceed with Cha-cha—Nene Pimentel
Congress should do away with the mode of Constituent Assembly (Con-ass) in revising the 1987 Constitution should “majority” of the people oppose it, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. said on Thursday.
Pimentel told reporters after the Senate hearing on Charter change (Cha-cha) that the government should take a different path in shifting to a federal form of government if the public opposes Con-ass.
“If majority of our people do not believe that revising the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly is the best way to do it, then probably the course of action that is now being undertaken by the government should be revised,” Pimentel said in a chance interview.
However, Pimentel said it would be “extremely difficult” to do so, explaining that both houses of Congress have already taken the cue from President Rodrigo Duterte to revise the Constitution through Con-ass.
“It would take a lot of effort to undo that,” the former Senate leader said.
Despite his belief that Constitutional convention (Con-con) was “the best way” to revise the Charter, Pimentel said Con-ass would be the “most feasible and practical way” as long as the public were among the participants.
“Constitutional convention, which is I think the best way really, is rather expensive, and demanding of so many details, but revising the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly would be the most feasible and practical way of revising the Constitution,” Pimentel said.
“But the important thing is that people must not allow Congress to just do their thing. They must insist on participating on process of revising the Constitution,” the former Senate leader stressed.
Pimentel said the public could do this by insisting that Congress should conduct public hearings throughout the country and allow the people to participate in the discussion. /jpv
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