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MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Constitution Association believes the 1987 Constitution must be amended wholly and not just partially as proposed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
”Our position in Philconsa is for amending the entire Constitution,” former Ilocos Sur Representative Mariano Tajon told the Saturday Forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City.
He noted that the Constitution, which was crafted by a constitutional commission appointed by then President Corazon Aquino, has several provisions that are controversial and defective.
Enrile and Belmonte have said only the economic provisions of the Charter, particularly the 40-percent cap on foreign ownership of lands and businesses, should be changed.
But Tajon said, “Every provision in the Constitution is connected to and interrelated with one another.”
That means a constitutional provision and its corresponding State policy in the Charter must be aligned with all the rest.
”We can’t change a provision and leave out other related matters in the Constitution,” he said.
He cited as an example Article XII (National Economy and Patrimony), noting the corresponding State policy for this is specified in Article II Sec. 19, which provides that “the State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.”
Philconsa’s Manolo Gorospe also pointed out that “about 82 of the provisions are still without enabling laws.”
Among such provisions are those on retirement in Armed Forces of the Philippines and political dynasties.
Tajon stressed that any changes to the Constitution should be done through an elected constitution convention.