MANILA, Aug 26 (Mabuhay) — Congress cannot be trusted to make amendments to the 1987 Constitution due to conflict of interest, a political analyst said Friday.
“Hindi pagtiwalaan ang (It’s hard to trust) Congress to do this. Because of conflict of interest… I do not question their integrity, but they’re conflicted,” constitutionalist Tony La Viña said.
On Thursday, a fresh debate on proposals to amend the charter rolled at the Senate.
Jonathan Malaya, a former DILG undersecretary of the Duterte administration and Center for Excellence in Local Governance executive director, said it is time to amend what he branded as the “Cory Constitution.”
“After 36 years of the ‘Cory Constitution’ panahon na para amyendahan na ito. Wala na pong debate dito… Thirty-six years later alam na natin kung ano ang kailangang baguhin sa Saligang Batas,” Malaya said.
The 1987 Constitution was drafted and ratified under the administration of former President Corazon Aquino following dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ ouster in 1986.
But La Viña said changing the Constitution will not solve the country’s problems.
“Nililinlang natin ang sarili natin (We’re fooling ourselves) if we think that changing the Constitution will solve our problems… Kasi deep-seated ‘yung mga problema natin (Because our problems are deep-seated),” he said.
He emphasized that many of the problems plaguing the nation will be fixed if the government had implemented the social justice and human rights provisions of the charter.
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“If there’s an opportunity to change the Constitution for the better, do it,” he said. What’s more important, however, is “how you do it.”
For La Viña, if lawmakers want to change the Constitution, it should be via constitutional convention, in which people will vote for people who will study and amend the Constitution.
In a constituent assembly, meanwhile, Congress will draft the new charter.
“Ang ayaw talaga natin… ay babaguhin ang Constitution to favor a family, a group of people, politicians,” La Viña said. (MNS)