IN the past, there were attempts to railroad constitutional change for selfish ends, including the highly-controversial lifting of term limits of all elective government officials.
Today, however, rewriting the Constitution, which was drafted during the Cory Aquino administration, for the benefit of the people and country should now get off the ground.
Thus, we cannot overemphasize the need for crusading President Duterte to now set up the proposed Constitutional Commission (Con-Com).
As proposed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a Mindanaoan like Duterte, the Con-Com will help members of Congress in amending the 1987 Constitution.
Under the plan, Con-Com members have six months to draft Charter changes and submit them to the Senate and the House of Representatives for discussion and approval.
Alvarez wants former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, ex-Senator Aquiilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. and former Senator Orlando “Orly” Mercado to be part of the commission.
Hopefully, our senators and congressmen convene themselves into a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) early next year for the purpose of amending the fundamental law of the land.
This after President Duterte’s change of heart. Initially, the hard-hitting Chief Executive from Davao City favored Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) over Con-Ass.
However, Duterte changed his mind after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) told him that Con-Con would be more expensive than Con-Ass.
Note that President Duterte has been pushing aggressively for a shift to the federal form of government, believing that federalism can fast-track economic development and end the centuries-old armed conflict in Mindanao.