By: Elena Grace Flores
At his speech among the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting members in Malacañang recently, President Rodrigo Duterte explained his plan to utilize Con-Ass instead of Con-Con to give way to his Federalism quest but many objected because Com-Ass can be used by self serving law makers.
Constitution change through Constituent Assembly or Con-ass is where lawmakers from both houses of Congress would convene to change the 1987 Constitution. Duterte initially wanted a Constitutional Convention or Con-con but he changed his mind upon learning that it would cost the government at least P10 billion up to P50 billion.
The Charter Change that he tried to push either way would make way for his plan to shift the form of government to federalism. He warned lawmakers not to abuse their power to amend the Charter because through Con-Ass they will have more power to manipulate results before reaching the outxome.
President Duterte however vowed not to allow those self serving law makers in manipulating Con-Ass. His words were:“I will never allow it. I will tell them, “Don’t push it, because if you do, I will close down Congress. I will arrest you.” You choose. I am not kidding.”
He added that anything that would be agreed upon by lawmakers would be submitted to a plebiscite. The President wanted the country to have a Prime Minister and a President – and promised to resign when that happens in around four years time.