Congress asked to let Filipinos decide on Constitutional Convention

Election of candidates for a possible Constitutional Convention is being eyed to be included in May 2016 elections “to avoid incurring the added cost of a separate election,” as proposed in Senate Resolution 1308 filed by Senators Teofisto “TG” Guingona III and Aquilino Pimentel III.

“That depends, of course, if the electorate will clearly express a clamor and preference for the calling of a Constitutional Convention,” Guingona said.

The resolution said “to dispel any doubt that the constitutional reforms are being sought to advance political and economic interests of a chosen few, it would be more prudent to submit to the electorate the questions of calling such as constitutional convention.”

“Various business organizations and research groups have identified provisions in the 1987 Philippine Constitution that need to be revised to address expanding global demands, as well as, economic and political realities,” it says.

Article XVII, Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that Congress can either directly call a Constitutional Convention by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, or submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention by a majority vote of all its Members.

Con-con is one of the three ways in which the Constitution can be amended. The other two modes are via a People’s Initiative and Constituent Assembly or “Con-Ass”.