Palace backs Con-com decision to allow ordinary Filipinos in meetings

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday backed the proposal of the consultative committee (Con-com) to review the 1987 Constitution to allow ordinary Filipinos and oppositors of Charter change participate in their succeeding meetings.

Of course that's part of their mandate. Of course they should be holding public hearings on propose revisions of the Constitution, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

On Monday, the 25-member Con-com, led by its chairman, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, convened its first meeting to draft a new constitution that will be submitted to the Congress for approval.

Con-com member and former Senate President Aquilino Nene Pimentel Jr. raised the suggestion of allowing ordinary Filipinos as well as oppositors of Charter change to participate in their meetings to which Puno agreed.

Pimentel also saw the need to immediately appoint the six remaining members the Con-com lacked. To date, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has only appointed 19 of the 25 members of the Con-com.

Aside from Puno and Pimentel, other members include Victor De La Serna, Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, Virgilio Castillo Bautista, Rodolfo Dia Robles, Antonio Eduardo Nachura, Julio Cabral Teehankee, Bienvenido Reyes, Eddie Mapag Alih, Edmund Soriano Tayao, Ali Pangalian Balindong, Laurence Wacnang, Roan Libarios, Reuben Rabe Canoy, Arthur Aguilar, Susan Ubalde-Ordinario, Antonio Binas Arellano and Randolp Climaco Parcasio.

Pimentel urged the President to consider appointing representatives from the women sector and indigenous people (IPs) in the Con-com to represent more sectors.

Even if the six more members are appointed few days from now, they will have missed out on some of the days in which they could have shared their expertise. This should be done as early as possible, Pimentel added.

Roque said that although the Palace would also want the positions to be filled as soon as possible, it is still the prerogative of the President to appoint.

Of course we would want it filled also as soon as possible because they have limited mandate. The recommendation was heard but appointment is the prerogative of the President, Roque said.

Source: Philippine News Agency