Duterte still pushing for a Con-ass despite opposition

Duterte still pushing for a Con-ass despite opposition

- President Duterte has continued to push for a Cha-cha through a Con-ass despite the opposition from various sectors

- According to a recent nationwide survey, most people oppose amending the Constitution

- Duterte said that the members of the Congress are capable of changing the Constitution for the good because many of them are competent lawmakers

President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has continued to push for a Charter change (Cha-cha) through a constituent assembly (Con-ass) despite the results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showing that most Filipinos oppose amending the Constitution.

The nationwide survey showed that 44 percent do not want to amend the Constitution, 37 percent were in favor of changing it, and 19 percent were still undecided.  The survey also showed that only 7 percent of the respondents believe that amending the constitution is a top priority.

The survey was conducted from July 2 to 8 and covered 1,200 respondents. After the results of the survey were released, several senators said that the government should take into consideration the sentiment of the public before making any decision about a Cha-cha.

Duterte still pushing for a Con-ass despite opposition

Duterte (Photo: Inquirer / Joan Bondoc)

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Even so, Duterte has been pushing to shift the form of government from the current unitary presidential form into a federal form. Federalism would allow the sovereignty of the country to be shared between a national government and the various federal states or regions.

The states or regions would be responsible for their own laws, healthcare, education, recreation, transportation, economy, culture, safety and security. The national government would focus on nationwide issues and concerns such as dealing with foreign policies and implementing national security.

A change in the form of government would require amending the Constitution itself.

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The President prefers to do this through a Con-ass instead of a constitutional convention (Con-con). A Con-ass would be composed of members of the Congress while Con-con would be composed of delegates elected by the electorate and given resources and funds to do their work.

Duterte does not want a Con-con due to the higher costs required in this mode of changing the Constitution. On Monday, the President said that the people should not distrust the members of the Congress who will be making amendments to the Constitution just because some of them are corrupt.

“You cannot make a sweeping statement that people cannot trust these guys to make a good Constitution, to craft a new one that would serve this generation because many of them had been elected time and again,” Duterte said. -Kami Media

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