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House panel adopts draft con-con resolution
In The Press Posted on August 26th, 2009.
With less than a year before the 2010 national elections, the House committee on Constitutional Amendments adopted the draft resolution calling for a constitutional convention (con-con) that would amend the 1987 Constitution, lawmakers said Wednesday.
The committee voted 6-1 on Tuesday afternoon to adopt consolidated draft concurrent resolution calling for a con-con, with the election of delegates coinciding with the May 2010 elections.
La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, the committee chairman, said on Wednesday that they still have to discuss the proposed implementing law — which will state in detail the qualifications of delegates and the budget for the constitutional convention, among others — on September 8 before the proposal can be taken up in plenary.
"I will not report it out (to the plenary) until I have the flesh," Ortega told reporters.
Committee staff told GMANews.TV Wednesday that the six who voted in favor of adopting the draft resolution were Agusan del Norte Rep. Edelmiro Amante, Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, Baguio City Rep. Mauricio Domogan, Parañaque City Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, Negros Oriental Rep. George Arnaiz, and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr.
The only one who opposed the approval was Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza.
Barzaga, who led the consolidation of the various measures proposing a con-con, told reporters Wednesday that among those that will be tackled in the proposed implementing law is the disqualification of con-con delegates from running in the elections following the approval of the new Constitution.
"(The proposal is) for the purpose that they would not be gaining any advantage out of the Constitution which they would be drafting," Barzaga said.
Both Barzaga and Ortega said they believed con-con has more backing among House members compared to the proposal to convene Congress into a constituent assembly, which is contained in the controversial House-approved House Resolution 1109.
"It is an admitted fact that constitutional convention is not as controversial as constituent assembly," Barzaga said. He noted that the whole 20-member LP bloc, which is against con-ass, supports con-con.
"Sa mga pakikipag-usap ko sa mga kasamahan dito, talagang mas maraming naka-komporme sa sa con-con (Based on my discussions with my colleagues, more of them support con-con)," Ortega said.
But Ortega said HR 1109 is not yet "dead," as the Rules committee has yet do decide on what to do with it. The Senate has earlier opposed the measure.
Speaker Prospero Nograles told GMANews.TV in a text message that the House majority will take up Charter change through con-con in a "majority coalition leaders and officers only" caucus next week. - GMANews.TV