1987 Constitution

Sen. Bam: Patay ang Cha-Cha kung walang suporta ng Senado

Sen. Bam Aquino insisted that any attempt by the House of Representatives to revise the 1987 Constitution without the Senate’s participation is unconstitutional. 

 “Anumang hakbang na gawin ng Kamara para baguhin ang Saligang Batas na hindi kasama ang Senado ay unconstitutional,” Sen. Bam asserted during the hearing of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments on the draft federal charter submitted by the consultative committee. 

Sen. Bam’s view was supported by several members of the consultative committee, including its chairman, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, retired Associate Justice Eduardo Nachura and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel. 

 “I expressed my personal opinion that the voting should be done separately by both Houses of Congress and I gave my reasons for that opinion,” said Puno, adding that he based his opinion on historical reasons and coherent reading of the different provisions of the 1987 Constitution.  

“It cannot be done na sila lang,” said Pimentel, referring to the House of Representatives.  

Nachura, for his part, said that he wrote a book about Constitutional law, where he stated that voting should be done separately. Other members of the consultative committee — professors Julio Teehankee and Edmund Tayao – also supported the views of their senior colleagues. 

Sen. Bam Aquino also stood firm on his stand against the postponement of the 2019 elections.  

“Ang eleksyon ay haligi ng demokrasya. Kapag binuwag mo pa ang haliging iyon, baka gumuho ang demokrasya natin,” said Sen. Bam.

“A number of us have already said that we are not in favor of postponing the elections,” Sen. Bam added, referring to his colleagues in the Senate.

Sen. Bam: Senate will not be pressured by lower chamber

As an independent institution, Sen. Bam Aquino declared that the Senate will not succumb to the pressure from the House of Representatives, which plans to hold a Constituent Assembly as mode to amend the 1987 Constitution even without the Upper Chamber’s participation.
“We will not be pressured by the Lower Chamber. The Senate believes that this is a critical reform that must go through the right process,” said Sen. Bam.
“Dadaan kami sa naaayon na proseso at panahon na bumabagay sa kahalagahan pagbabago sa Saligang Batas,,” assured Sen. Bam.
Earlier, the House approved Resolution No. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly that will introduce changes in the Charter.
The House wants to submit a new federal charter for a referendum simultaneously with the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this May.
However, Sen. Bam said the Senate will not give in to the House’s timetable, saying a process as important as Charter change should go through the right process.
Sen. Bam added that the Senate will make sure that there will be a massive information dissemination to educate the public about Charter change and allow them to participate in discussions, debates and crafting of the necessary amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
“Tungkulin namin na ang anumang prosesong pagdadaanan ay para sa taumbayan at hindi lamang para sa mga politiko” Sen. Bam pointed out.
In Wednesday’s Senate hearing on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, Sen. Bam emphasized the need for trust-building measures, including the passage of an anti-dynasty law, before amending the Charter.

Sen. Bam on House’s plan to continue with Con-Ass even without Senate’s participation

Nagkakaisa ang Senado na hindi kami magpapa-pressure sa timetable ng House of Representatives.

Dadaan kami sa naaayon na proseso at panahon na bumabagay sa kahalagahan ng gagawing proseso ng pagbabago sa Saligang Batas.

 Higit sa lahat, sisiguraduhin namin na naiintindihan at kasapi ang taumbayan sa mga usapin, debate at desisyon.

 Tungkulin namin na ang anumang prosesong pagdadaanan ay para sa taumbayan at hindi lamang para sa mga politiko.

Sen. Bam: Build trust before Cha-cha, pass anti-dynasty law

Senator Bam Aquino insisted that without the trust in the process and the people behind it, no Charter change will be accepted by the public.
“Kailangan ng tiwala ng taumbayan sa proseso at tiwala sa nagsasagawa ng proseso. How do we make sure na para ito sa tao at hindi para sa pulitiko,” Sen. Bam said during the Senate hearing on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution.
As part of the confidence-building measure in the process, Sen. Bam suggested that an anti-dynasty law be first enacted ahead of moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“Intensified political dynasties, even warlordism in some areas might be a drawback of a federal form of government,” said Sen. Bam, emphasizing that passing an anti-dynasty law would enhance the public’s trust in the shift.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno agreed to Sen. Bam’s pronouncement, saying the existence of political dynasties is one problem that needs to be addressed by those pushing for federalism.
“As it is now, these political dynasties already possess so much power. If you go to federalism, you will not only be giving them so much power, but you will be giving them sovereign powers, and that is a no-no,” said Puno.
Earlier, Sen. Bam objected to the House’s move to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly.
Sen. Bam issued the statement after the House approved Resolution No. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly that will introduce changes in the Charter.
The Senator believes that a process as important as a Constitutional Change cannot be rushed and proposed that if ever a change will be done, a Constitutional Convention process would be more acceptable to the people than a Constituent Assembly composed of politicians.

Bam: Cha-cha must examine other important aspects of 1987 Constitution

CEBU CITY — Sen. Bam Aquino prefers constitutional convention (con-con) as means to amend the 1987 Constitution, adding the action must be a “genuine process” where other important provisions of the Charter will be thoroughly examined, in addition to federalism.

 “Sang-ayon po ako sa constitutional convention. I’m open to federalism pero kapag binukas kasi natin ang Constitution, hindi lang po iyan puwede for one aspect. Lahat po ng aspeto, kailangang suriin,” said Sen. Bam during a radio interview here.

 He added, “Once we open up the con-con, sana po it goes through a genuine process of assessment kasi 30 years na rin po ang ating Constitution. How do we update our Constitution? Ano ang pinaka-akma na sistema at istruktura sa ating bansa in the 21st century?”

 Sen. Bam believes the Charter’s economic provisions, term limits to local officials, among others already mentioned, need to be revisited, reviewed and updated to be attuned to the present situation.

 “I think ang three-year term ng local officials natin, masyado pong maikli. As we know, most of the reforms na kailangan ng bansa, takes six to ten years,” he explained.

 In the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam said congressmen also tried to introduce amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution but it didn’t take off.

 A constitutional convention is a process where the people elect delegates, who will study proposals to amend or revise the Charter. The amendments drafted by the delegates must be approved by the people in a referendum.

 While he is open to a shift to federal form of government, Sen. Bam said some local officials have recently expressed apprehensions over the move.

 “Pagdating po sa federalism, bukas po tayo diyan pero iyong ibang governors na nakausap ko, marami rin silang tanong,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Another basic question is, how much will it cost? Will this mean new taxes? Will it mean new bureaucracy kasi kung magkaka-regional governments tayo, parang may next layer na naman tayo ng burukrasya,” he added.

 However, Sen. Bam trusts that the upcoming House and Senate leadership will allow the process to move properly.

 “Itong lahat po, pag-uusapan, hihimayin, dadaan sa proseso ng pag-uusap. I’m hoping lang na di po iyan magtagal ng 3 or 4 years. Sana po maybe 1 year o 1 year and a half, tapos na po iyong proseso,” said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam: No Graduation Fees in Public Elementary & High Schools

Senator Bam Aquino reminded public elementary and high school officials about the existing Department of Education (DepEd) policy that prohibits collection of graduation fees.

Under DepEd Order No. 8, series of 2005, Aquino said graduation fees or any other kind of contribution is not a prerequisite for graduation.

“Any public school official who will prevent a student from graduating due to failure to pay any kind of graduation fee will be subjected to administrative sanctions,” warned Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth.

Aquino supported the call of DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro not to collect any fees from parents for the graduation ceremonies.

Aquino said the practice of collecting graduation fees must stop because the 1987 Constitution mandates the government to provide free public education at the elementary and secondary levels.

“No less than the 1987 Constitution protects our rights to free education and we must take the necessary steps to uphold this provision,” Aquino said.

In connection with this, Aquino called on different private sectors to report to the DepEd public school officials who violate the order.

“We need to put a stop to this and one way of doing it is to get the public’s cooperation as they are our eyes and ears on the ground,” Aquino stressed.

At the same time, Aquino called on private schools to forego of lavish graduation ceremonies and instead donate to the rehabilitation of earthquake victims in Bohol and Cebu and Yolanda survivors in Eastern Visayas.

“Our countrymen in devastated areas still need our help,” said Aquino, who recently visited Bohol to observe the ongoing rehabilitation in earthquake-hit areas.

Photo source: Inquirer.net

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