"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, October 14, 2005

Charter needs fine-tuning, not overhaul

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, on Friday said he is not in favor of revising the 1987 Constitution, saying the charter only needs fine-tuning.

"I am in favor of changing the Constitution, but not at this time," Gordon told ANC.

Gordon said the work of the Constitutional Commission tasked by President Arroyo to study revisions to the Constitution is skirting on possibly violating the charter they seek to amend.

He said there are only three ways to change the Charter, and that is through a constitutional convention, constitutional assembly and by people's initiative.

The President, he said, has no power to amend the charter.

Gordon said there may concerns that need to be attended to that is more important than amending the Constitution, like improving the country's educational system and the absence of fighter planes in the Philippine Air Force.

He also said the Filipino public does not understand the difference between the parliamentary and federal systems of government.

Gordon also criticized the ConCom for "conditioning" the minds of the Filipinos that the parliamentary/federal system of government is the best way to go from the present presidential/unitary form of government.

He also revealed that most members of the Con-Com are President Arroyo's "friends" and are "biased" to the Chief Executive.

ABS-CBN Interactive