By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY - Out of more than a hundred crowd invited by Congress, only five wanted charter change through a Constituent Assembly in the first public consultation of congressmen to revise the 1987 Constitution.
|REALITY CHECK. Author, a radio commentator too, does some rabble rousing explanation about the pros and cons of charter change before members of the "Committee on Constitutional Amendments" of the House of Representatives.|
When the Committee on Constitutional Amendment’s Chairman Roger Mercado asked the more than a hundred attendees, at a hotel here, who came from the 31 villages of this City led by their barangay chairmen, mayor, councilors, and public and private officials from here and the towns and other cities of the mammoth Pangasinan province if they favor Constituent Assembly (CA) or Constitutional Convention (CC) to craft the 1987 Constitution, only five raised their right hands on the CA and more than 10 raised their hand on the CC.
The opinion of some spectators was either the attendees did not understand the bodies that have been given a constitutional power to hammer the highest law or they did not want federalism as the “silver bullet” to end the malaise of this country if based on the pronouncement of Representative Mercado and others.
A Constituent Assembly, according to Wikipidia, is composed of all members of the bicameral Philippine Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives). It is convened by Congress to propose amendments to the 1987 constitution. Under Article XVII of the Constitution of the Philippines, amendments pass upon a vote of three fourths of all members of Congress, but it is not clear if the Congress should vote as a single body or as separate houses.