Press Release
May 12, 2015

Let's consult people on Charter Change -- Koko

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, president of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), today said the people should be consulted on the issue of calling a constitutional convention to propose amendments to or revisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

He said he has filed Senate Resolution No. 1308 recently, together with Sen. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, for Congress to submit to the electorate the question of calling a constitutional convention to propose changes in the fundamental law of the land.

"To dispel any doubts that the constitutional reforms are being sought to advance political and economic interests of a chosen few, it would be more prudent, participatory and democratic to submit to the electorate the question of calling such a constitutional convention," he said.

Pimentel said various business organizations and research groups have identified provisions in the Constitution, particularly, economic and political provisions, that need to be revised to address expanding global demands, as well as, economic and political realities.

He said a radical revision in the constitutional structure is a task better given to a constitutional convention, whose members shall be chosen by the people, rather than to a constituent assembly, composed of members of Congress who currently wield political power.

"The calling of a constitutional convention to propose amendments to or revisions of the Constitution is the least divisive and the most transparent, exhaustive, and democratic way of achieving much-needed constitutional reforms," said Pimentel.

Pimentel is also proposing that the election of delegates to the constitutional convention, once favoured by the people, shall be conducted simultaneously with the May 9, 2016 national and local elections to defray the cost of a separate election for delegates.

He said the Constitution must adapt to present conditions in order for it to truly represent the aspirations of the people.

Pimentel said that amendments to or revision of the present Charter may be proposed by Congress upon a vote of three fourths of all its members or through a constitutional convention.

He said amendment to the Constitution is an isolated or piecemeal change that does not affect its substantive provisions, while a revision involves an examination of the entire Charter to determine how and what extent it should be altered, thus implying substantive change.

The Constitution is a written instrument by which the fundamental powers of government are established, and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among the several departments or branches for their safe and useful exercises for the benefit of the people.

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