Pimentel to file resolution calling for con-ass to tackle federalism

By Azer Parrocha

January 8, 2018, 7:04 pm

MANILA -- Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Monday said that he will be filing this week a resolution calling for the Senate and the House of Representatives (HOR) to convene in a constitutional assembly (con-ass) to revise the 1987 Constitution and study the proposed shift to a federal form of government.

Pimentel said that the resolution will be filed before the Senate resumes its session on January 15.

“(It will be filed) before when we resume session on January 15, in the coming days, two to three more days,” Pimentel said in an interview.

He said that he prefers a con-ass over a constitutional convention (con-con) since the latter expected to require an estimated PHP20 billion.

“A con-con is too expensive. I heard it will cost around PHP20 billion. We will have to elect, delegates will have to run, organize their offices, look for their venues. It’s not just a waste of money, it’s also a waste of time,” he said in Filipino.

Meanwhile, he assured anew that because the 1987 Constitution still applies, scheduled elections in May 2019 will still push through.

“It’s a guarantee that there will be an election. We are still under the 1987 Constitution, until that changes, all scheduled elections must be held,” Pimentel said.

The Senate President said that he wants to submit amendments for plebiscite during the May 2019 elections.

Asked if his resolution would include a term extension and holdover capacity, Pimentel said that he will not include it because it is bound to be rejected.

“It (term extension, holdover capacity) can be proposed but will the public agree with it? Most likely they won’t,” he said. (PNA)