SENATE HEARING ON CHARTER CHANGE 17 JULY 2018

July 17, 2018

OPENING STATEMENT OF

SEN. FRANCIS PANGILINAN

SENATE HEARING ON CHARTER CHANGE

17 JULY 2018

Magandang hapon po sa ating lahat.

This Committee started our consultation hearings on the Philippine Constitution as Chairman of the Committee last January 17, 2018. Before this January hearing, Senator Frank Drilon, who was immediate past chairman of the committee, held two hearings.

A week after our January 2018 hearing, the consultative committee headed by Chief Justice Reynato Puno was created.

Last week, CJ Puno’s committee released its report. And thereafter, SWS released its survey results on federalism and Pulse Asia its own survey results on the issue of Charter change.

In our previous hearings, we had four questions for our resource persons: Do we need to amend or change the Constitution? If yes, what provisions and why? Who will amend the Constitution, a constitutional convention or a constituent assembly? If a constituent assembly, will Congress vote jointly or separately?

Today, in our 10th committee hearing, we want a sharper view of Charter change and federalism and ask these more specific questions:

Una: Sigaw ba ng taumbayan ang Charter Change? Is there really a public clamor for Charter change? If so, where is the evidence?

Pangalawa: Pederalismo lang ba ang makapagpapa-unlad sa mga probinsya? Is federalism the only way to bring more development to the provinces?

Pangatlo: Bakit talaga tinutulak ang Charter change? Sino ang pinakamakikinabang dito? Is term extension and no elections part of the agenda behind Charter change? Who will benefit from it the most?

Pang-apat: Ano ang halaga at magiging papel ng draft constitution na inihanda ng Puno Committee at isinumite sa Pangulo at sa Kongreso.

Ililiwanag ko lang po sa publiko at sa ating mga resource persons na: sa ngayon wala pang promal na posisyon ang Senado sa usapin ng kailangan ba ng Charter change o hindi, kung napapanahon ba ito, kung pederalismo nga ba ang sagot sa mga problema ng ating bansa at kung con-ass ba o con-con ang mas mainam na paraan kung babaguhin nga ang Saligang Batas.

Lilinawin din natin na bilang Chairman ng Komite: naniniwala tayo na sa ating bansa, bilang isang demokrasya, lahat ng punto de bista sa usapin ng Charter change, kontra man o pabor, ay dapat marinig sa isang bukas at pampublikong pagdinig tulad nito upang mas malalim pang maunawaan ng ating mga kababayan ang mga isyu,

Dahil ang tunay na may kapangyarihan sa pag-a-amyenda ng Saligang Batas ay nasa kamay ng mga mamamayan na syang papabor o kokontra sa anumang panukala na maaaring ihain sa isang plebisito kung mamarapatin ng Kongreso na isulong ang pag-amyenda dito.
Maraming salamat po.