Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Senate hearing on charter change

The Senate conducted consultations from constitutional experts, in the same manner that the Supreme Court invites amicus curaei in resolving important issues before it.
The main issue in the hearing last Monday was to listen to constitutional experts on the matter of whether the Senate and the House of Representatives should vote separately in the process of convening a constituent assembly to propose changes in the constitution.
This was the Senate's response to the House's challenge to the Senate to pass within 72 hours a resolution calling for a constitutional convention.
Appearing guests included constitutionalists Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, Christian Monsod, both memebrs of the 1986 constitutional commission that draft the present constitution.
Also present was former Cebu governor Pablo Garcia, a member of the 1971 constituional convention.
They were one in saying that this is not the right time to even talk about changing the constitution because the atmosphere is so engulfed in intense partisanship and political turmoil that a rational decision on charter change would not be attainable.
The Senate met as a committee of the whole and held the hearing at the session session hall.
There were also other guests like Atty. Jovy Salazar, President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, former Senator John Osmena, Willy of the Kilusang Magbubikid ng Pilipinas, UP law professor Gwen De Vera, and some youth leaders.

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