MANILA Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said the Senate will treat the draft Federal Charter submitted by the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) as just another proposal to amend the Constitution, which the chamber will have to carefully study along with others.
Last July 9, the Con-Com submitted its draft of the proposed Federal Constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte, and to the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The two chambers of Congress are tasked to deliberate on the proposal and come out with a final draft.
However, senators have said the Senate would not be rushing the discussions on Charter change (Cha-Cha).
The Senate has decided to study carefully all of these proposals to amend the Constitution, Drilon said during the regular Kapihan sa Senado news forum.
He said that during Tuesday's caucus, the Senate has decided to allow the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes to finish its work before the Chamber decide on a course of action.
The panel had conducted hearings in different parts of the country and is expected to continue with further consultations to hear the views of the people on Cha-Cha.
In fact the first question is: should we amend the Constitution? It is up to us, as an institution, to make sure that the voices of the people are heard, Drilon said.
The Minority Leader said that only when the committee headed by Senator Francis Pangilinan submits its report, including the issue whether or not to amend the charter, that's the time we will act on it.
The proposal of the Con-Com will only come in case there is a decision to amend the constitution. Then it is one of the study groups that has submitted its proposal. It's just like a term paper in college, Drilon said.
Besides the draft Federal Charter proposed by the Con-Com, other proposals for Cha-Cha included the PDP-Laban draft and two drafts from the House of Representatives (Resolution of Both Houses No. 8 and House Concurrent Resolution No. 9) among others.
We will consider that (Federal Charter) at that point, whether in a constitutional convention or a constituent assembly, as one of the research papers that would be available, Drilon said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency