The Senate will start deliberations on the proposal to revise the 1987 Constitution now that it has already approved the P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017.
Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes. which he chairs, will begin deliberations on Charter Change on Dec. 8.
“This committee understands the importance of this undertaking in the agenda of the current administration so we will ensure that it is given the utmost priority,” Drilon said.
“We will hear all views and opinions of the various sectors on these issues,” he added.
Among the resource persons which the committee has invited to discuss Charter Change are former Chief Justices Hilario Davide Jr., Reynato Puno and Artemio Panganiban; former Supreme Court associate justices Adolfo Azcuna, Antonio Nachura, and Vicente Mendoza; recognized Constitutional experts Fr. Joaquin Bernas and Atty. Christian Monsod; and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
The panel will also invite some members of the cabinet including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Makati Business Club chairman Ramon Del Rosario Jr., among others.
Drilon said the initial hearing would focus on the following key issues:
1. Is there a need to amend or revise the Constitution? Why or why not?
2. If so, what parts of the Constitution should be amended or revised? Why?
3. Should the amendments or revision be proposed by a Constitutional Convention or by the Congress itself acting as a constituent assembly? Why?
4. If the Congress convenes as a constituent assembly for the purpose of amending or revising the Constitution, should the Senate and the House of Representatives vote jointly or separately?