MANILA – Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla on Tuesday stressed the need for a change of the 35-year-old Constitution to adjust to the needs of the times as he also clarified that he is not blaming any previous administrations for the country’s situation.

Speaking at the resumption of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes which he chairs, Padilla said the Philippine Constitution changed several times from the Malolos Convention, 1935 Constitution, 1973 Constitution, and the 1987 Constitution, adding all of this happened to adapt to the changes of times.

"Nasa 2022 na tayo. Kailangan lamang siguro sa panahon ngayon ay mag-adjust tayo kung ano ang nangyayari, una sa paligid natin at kung ano ang nangyayari sa mundo. Dapat nandoon na po tayo. Hindi po tayo dapat sarado (We are in 2022. We have to adjust to the times and our surroundings. We cannot afford to remain close-minded)," he said.

He added that even the United States of America has undergone amendments and is very much different from the 1776 Constitution.

Padilla said Filipinos must remain open-minded "because the world is changing. Everyone is now using the internet and anyone can run a business using computers."

"Kailan man po wala kaming sinabi na kasalanan ng isang pangulong dumaan kung ano man po ang nangyayari na kahirapan sa Pilipinas. Wala po kaming sinasabing ganoon. Ang malinaw po naming pinaparating po sa inyo na sa mga dumaan na panahon, natural lamang po na nagbabago ang Constitution (I never blamed any particular leader or Constitution for the hardships we are facing. But what is clear is that change is a natural occurrence as time goes by, even for the Constitution)," he said.

He noted the points raised by the resource person, Law professor Anthony Amunategui Abad, that the Constitution adjusts to the needs of the times.

He reiterated that his committee will be fair and balanced in its hearings and that everyone will have a voice.

Ang lahat ay welcome sa ating hearing pro or anti lahat po ay may boses (Everyone is welcome to attend to our hearing, pro or anti, all must air their voices),” Padilla said.

Meanwhile, Abad lauded the senator for his courage in holding such hearings, adding the next generation of Filipinos stands to benefit from them.

"For the record, I’d like you to know I think this is an act of courage on your part, it is both patriotic and heroic. So far from what I’ve seen in the long history (of our) legislature, what you’re doing now is historic. And sana kung magkatotoo nga (If the changes will take place), you will have the thanks of many unborn Filipinos). Bale next generation ang makikinabang sa pag-amend natin sa Constitution (The next generation of Filipinos will benefit from all this)," Abad said.

He said if the economic provisions of the Constitution are amended, it will attract more investors that will generate jobs. (Leonel Abasola/PNA)