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    VP Leni urges further discussion on ChaCha, says process must not be rushed

    Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday reiterated the need to extensively discuss charter change, in light of plans to revise the Constitution in order to usher in a federal form of government.

    VP Leni said it is important for the public to be well-informed and engaged in these discussions, since the Constitution is the “framework” for our country.

    In this regard, she said the Senate hearing on ChaCha, held Wednesday, was a “relief,” as it included among resource speakers former Justices Hilario Davide Jr. and Renato Puno, as well as former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.

    Davide was among the framers of the 1987 Constitution who spoke at the hearing, along with Prof. Edmundo Garcia. The Senate also invited other members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission to the proceedings.

    “[S]inasabi natin na iyong Saligang Batas kasi, dahil ito na iyong pinaka-framework ng ating gobyerno, kailangan siyang parang nag-e-evolve. Kaya iyong pagkasulat sa kaniya hindi masyadong detalyado, kasi dapat iyong interpretasyon sa kaniya nag-e-evolve over time. Pero nakita natin kahapon kung ano iyong intensyon ng mga sumulat nito,” she said.

    “Ang isa din na pinaintindi sa atin kahapon, kung gaano kahalaga ang Saligang Batas. Hindi siya kagaya ng ordinaryong batas na madaling isulat at madaling palitan. Ang Saligang Batas, ang intensyon nito, ito ang permanenteng framework na ginagalawan nating lahat. Hindi siya puwedeng palitan nang basta-basta. Hindi siya puwedeng madaliin,” she added.

    The Vice President expressed hopes that such discussions will continue in the Senate, even after the House of Representatives adopted the resolution seeking to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution.

    “Sana ipagpatuloy kasi parang iyong resolution na approved sa House of Representatives hindi natin alam iyong mga particular na amendments na isinusulong,” she said. “Sana itong Senado, maging avenue siya para malaman natin ano ba iyong each and every provision ng Saligang Batas na gustong palitan. Pangalawa, may pangangailangan bang palitan? … Pangatlo, kung papalitan man, ano iyong proseso na pagdaraanan?”

    Among the three methods for ChaCha, VP Leni said she has long been in favor of having a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), where delegates may be chosen by the people in a special election, instead of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass), which is eyed by the House.

    “[F]rom the very start, parating doon ako sa Constitutional (Convention) kasi binibigyan doon iyong mga tao ng pagkakataon na pumili kung sino iyong magre-represent sa kanila,” she said. “Pangalawa, iyong mga Constitutional Commission members, nakatutok talaga sa pag-frame ng Saligang Batas, at hindi siya nakahalo sa ibang trabaho.”

    “Iyong pinag-aalala natin sa Constituent Assembly, totoong mas makakatipid tayo, pero iyong ating mga mambabatas, maraming ibang ginagawang trabaho na baka hindi matutukan iyong pagpasa ng mga amendments,” she added. “[K]ung ang pagpipilian iyong bilis at tipid, doon pa din tayo sa paraan na ma-e-ensure na talagang matututukan at mabibigyan ng boses iyong mga mamamayan.”

    Posted in Press Releases on Jan 18, 2018