PHILIPPINE Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez yesterday welcomed the fresh commitment of Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez to pushing for Charter change (Cha-cha) early next year.
Romualdez, a former three-term Leyte congressman, said Alvarez is doing the right thing for always finding time to push the shift of presidential-unitary form of government to a parliamentary-federal system despite the busy schedules of Congress.
“This is a welcome development to keep the fire of the constitutional reforms burning aimed at sustaining the country’s economic growth,” said Romualdez after Alvarez vowed to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) with or without the 25-man Constitutional Commission (Con-Com).
Earlier, former President-turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo challenged Cha-Cha advocates especially the Philconsa of Romualdez to help in keeping Cha-cha among the list of priorities of national leaders.
Philconsa, which is supportive of the federalism initiative, is the oldest and most respectable association of legal luminaries in the country and has been existing for 55 years.
Alvarez said Con-Ass can start deliberating on the proposal to overhaul the Constitution despite the absence of Con-Com that would draft the new Chapter.
“With or without the Commission, by next year, Congress will start the Con-Ass debates,” Alvarez told reporters.
“We can agree with the Senate that both Houses can be convened as Con-Ass.” Responding to Mrs. Arroyo, Romualdez vowed to heed the call of Mrs. Arroyo.
“We will keep our dedication, commitment, passion, and the flame burning bigger and brighter until we reap the real benefits of genuine constitutional reforms for our children and the succeeding generations,” said Romualdez, husband of Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez who is a vice chairperson of the House committee on government enterprises and privatization.
“I am proud to say that the Philconsa has become the premier marketplace for the healthy and vibrant exchange of ideas, perceptions and insights on constitutional issues affecting public interest. We have been doing this consistently with our aim to incite and stimulate awareness, respect and obedience to the Constitution,” said Romualdez.
Alvarez has submitted the draft Executive Order (EO) to President Duterte to create Con-Com.
In case Con-Com is created, the results of its findings will be submitted to lawmakers who will be behind the convening of Congress into Con-Ass.
House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas said the work of Con-Com will be used in Congress’ deliberations on Charter change (Cha-cha).