A COMMITTEE at the House of Representatives plans to file a new resolution, proposing that the two chambers of Congress vote separately when it convenes into a Constituent Assembly (ConAss) in making amendments or revising the 1987 Constitution.
“(The) voting (will be done) separately as demanded by the Senate. It will be covered already by a resolution, concurrent resolution na ipapasa namin (that we will file),” Leyte Representative Vicente S.E. Veloso, newly installed Constitutional Amendments committee chairperson, said in a phone interview Sunday.
He said Concurrent Resolution no. 9 convening Congress into a constituent assembly, already passed by the chamber, will be withdrawn.
Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo said last week said she has agreed to a separate voting to push forward the administration’s federalism shift. This, however, was met with skepticism in the Senate.
Mr. Veloso said the Committee will tackle on Tuesday the draft Constitution submitted by the Consultative Committee, led by retired chief justice Reynato S. Puno, as well as the chamber’s own working draft.
“In fact, tatlo na ang tinitingnan kong matrix, ‘yung Puno committee na draft, congressional draft and then the 1987 Constitution,” Mr. Veloso said. (In fact, there are three matrix I’m considering — the Puno committee draft, the congressional draft and the 1987 Constitution.)
He added: “’yung Puno draft hindi naman masyadong komplikado. Maraming salient features do’n na magaganda, so kukunin namin ‘yun (The Puno draft is not too complicated. There are many salient features that are good, which we will adopt), but those that are medyo (slightly) controversial that I expect will encounter a stiff opposition from the House, iyon ang titingnan (that’s what we’ll look at).”
He cited among the possible contentious issues the provisions on term limits and the ban on political dynasties.
Halimbawa, ‘yung anti-dynasty, simple lang naman, ang solusyon dapat walang term limit (For instance, the anti-dynasty, it’s simple, the solution is to omit term limit),” Mr. Veloso said. “You’re putting up term limits that (are) not in the 1935 Constitution, in fact, it is also not in (the) 1973 (Constitution).”
The ConCom draft proposes that elective officials, such as the president, vice-president and members of Congress, shall serve four years with re-election. — Charmaine A. Tadalan