A Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) may be less expensive and time-consuming but President-elect Rodrigo Duterte prefers a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to frame a new charter and to convert the country’s unitary government to a federal one, according to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
“A Constitutional Convention would be very expensive and very long. A Constituent Assembly would be easier and less expensive but the President wants a Constitutional Convention so people don’t say it’s self-serving,” the next Speaker told a panel of Inquirer reporters, editors and executives at Meet Inquirer Multimedia Forum on Tuesday.
Alvarez, a close friend handpicked by Duterte to be the next leader of the House of Representatives, said he was only looking at Con-Ass and Con-Con as the two options in changing the 1987 Constitution.
The third method—a People’s Initiative—would only apply to amendments on individual provisions, he said.
Alvarez said a Con-Con would open up all provisions in the Constitution to revision—including the possibility of extending the term limits of the President.
“When we call for Con-Con, we open everything for revision, all articles of the present Constitution,” he said.
“You can’t avoid discussion about that (term limits). It would all depend on the results of the convention,” Alvarez said.
The Philippine president has a nonextendable six-year term. RAM/rga

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Source: Inquirer.net

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