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Senate President Franklin Drilon

Drilon pushes for con-con to review 1987 Constitution

Senate President Franklin Drilon
Senate President Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has filed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to review the 1987 Constitution.
“There is a need to re-examine the Constitution to determine if it is still attuned or responsive to the demands of present-day realities,” Drilon explained.
Drilon said that Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 calls for a convention, whose members shall be elected by January of next year, to propose amendments to, or revision of, the 29-year-old Constitution.
Drilon said that in order to maintain the non-partisan nature of the process, Section 3 of RBH 1 provides that “No person who is a member of the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Resolution shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention.”
He further explained that the same section also prohibits candidates in the May 2016 elections to qualify as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention.
“Neither shall any person who filed his/her certificate of candidacy in the election of May 9, 2016 shall be qualified as a candidate for election as Delegate to the Convention,” the resolution states.
Drilon, a lawyer and former justice secretary, explained that pursuant to Article XVII, Section 3 of the Constitution, “Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its members, call a constitutional convention to propose amendments to, or a revision of, the Constitution.”
“The common good would be best served if the review of, and proposals to amend or revise, the Constitution would be made through and by a constitutional convention whose delegates are to be elected by the people for such purpose,” said Drilon, who topped the 2016 senatorial elections.
“It is therefore more prudent to have the Constitution reviewed for possible amendments or revision by a constitutional convention whose delegates shall be elected on the last Monday of January 2017,” he added.
Drilon said each house has to vote separately on the resolution.
According to the resolution, the Delegate to the Convention will be elected on the last Monday of January 2017 in accordance with the provisions of existing elections laws, rules and regulations.
They shall be elected by administrative region based on the number of legislative districts in such region, the resolution said.
The candidates for delegate to the Convention shall have the same qualifications as those required of the members of the House of Representatives.
The resolution also bans candidates to represent or allow them to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any organization, Drilon noted.
Lastly, any person holding a public office or position, elective or appointive, including members of the armed forces and officers and employees of corporations or enterprises owned and/or controlled by the government shall be considered resigned upon the filing of his/her certificate of candidacy.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.