Press Release
March 5, 2018

Drilon: Most Filipinos prefer con-con over con-ass to amend Constitution

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Monday said that most Filipinos and legal luminaries, including three former chief justices of the Supreme Court, believed that the best method to amend or revise the constitution is through a constitutional convention (con-con) rather than a constitutional assembly (con-ass).

"The emerging consensus among the resource persons during the committee hearings, both in Manila and in the provinces, so far is if the Constitution is to be amended, it must be through constitutional convention," Drilon said.

Among them are former Chief Justices Hilario Davide, Reynato Puno and Artemio Panganiban; and former Supreme Court Associate Justices Adolfo Azcuna and Eduardo Nachura, who are of the opinion that a Constitutional Convention should be adopted. Puno heads the consultative body tasked by the President to review the Constitution.

Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. also stated that he considers a Constitutional Convention as the best mode, but if the President prefers a Constitutional Assembly, he said that he sees no problem as long as public hearings are conducted to ensure participation by the people.

The University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance and the Philippine Center on Islam and Democracy also favor a Constitutional Convention to ensure wider participation, he noted.

"The people's sentiment is that amendments to the Constitutions should be through a con-con. That is on record and Congress should seriously consider our people's view," Drilon said.

"We must listen to the growing public preference to Constitutional Convention as the method of amending or revising our Constitution," Drilon said.

The minority leader said that such view "reflects the distrust of the people on Congress."

"Unfortunately, it appears that our people do not trust their legislators with the revision of the Constitution. It says a lot about the level of trust, or the lack of it, our people have on the legislators," Drilon said.

"We could not blame our people if they fear that politicians would only abuse the new Constitution to further their own agendas," he added.

Under the Constitution, the Constitution can be amended or revise through a constitutional assembly through a vote of three-fourths of all members and through a constitutional convention where the people elect delegates to propose amendments and revisions to the Constitution.

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