Robredo favors Con-Con over Constituent Assembly to amend charter

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) is a more agreeable option for her than a Constitution Assembly (Con-Ass) should the Constitution be amended to pave the way for federalism. 

Robredo was asked on Thursday, January 18 to react to a Senate hearing when the framers of the 1987 Constitution were consulted on the proposal to amend charter as well as a House resolution favoring the formation of the Con-Ass.

Iyong ako, from the very start, parating doon ako sa Constitutional Convention, kasi binigyan doon iyong mga tao ng pagkakataon na pumili kung sino iyong magre-represent sa kanila doon sa convention (I’ve been for the Constitutional Convention from the very beginning because the people are going to be given the chance to choose who will represent them in the convention),” said the Vice President. 

The Con-Con and Con-Ass are two of the 3 modes by which the Constitution can be amended, the 3rd of which is through the People’s Initiative.

Under a Con-Con, the public will elect a new set of representatives who will be focused solely on proposing amendments. 

Under a Con-Ass, meanwhile, sitting lawmakers will turn themselves into a body that will draft the amendments. This means they will have to juggle amending the Constitution alongside passing legislation. 

Robredo, who was previously the representative of Camarines Sur’s 3rd District, said forming a Con-Ass might distract legislators from their primary mandate to make laws.  

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, na tingin natin napakahalaga nito,” she explained. 

(It’s true that we will be able to save more money if we form a Constituent Assembly. But our lawmakers have other jobs that they might not be able to focus on the drafting of the amendments, which I think is very crucial.)

Senators already “unanimously” decided to reject the proposal to vote jointly with the House of Representatives in a Con-Ass. But Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is unfazed, saying the lower chamber will push through with the Con-Ass with our without the Senate. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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