Duterte’s first order of business: call for Con-con

May. 10, 2016

By May Anne Love Deseo

DAVAO CITY – The frontrunner of the country’s presidential elections, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is bent on calling Congress to pass a law for a Constitutional Convention once proclaimed as the new president.

Duterte’s spokesperson, Peter Tiu Laviña, said that through the congress, it will be a more democratic manner in electing framers of the “new constitution.”

“Of course we have to deal with the new congress, but after the passage of the law, there will be an election of the members of the constitutional convention probably by early next year,” Laviña said.

National consensus needed, says spox

He added that the call for a constitutional convention will be in relation to national consensus, which Duterte will require in establishing his three major platforms.

“Our country is facing terrible problems of rising drugs, criminality, continuing corruption and poverty. We are confronted with external threats, beginning in the southern Philippines, there is a presence of individuals advocating for violent extremism,” Laviña said.

Laviña said that Duterte’s platforms include: 24/7 fight against drugs and criminality, the shift to a parliamentary federal form of government, and forging peace agreements and political settlements with rebel groups in the country.

“We need a wide national consensus and agreement so we can proceed to these fundamental changes in our government system,” Laviña said.

‘Con-con needed to prepare for ASEAN’

Laviña said that after Duterte called for “a healing process and national unity” on Monday, May 9, he thinks that this is important in facing global problems by the next administration.

He added that while the country is one of the original founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it has to prepare for the economic integration for regional economy.

“Many of the proposals being presented right now will be taken up during the con-con deliberations including provisions of the economy,” he said.

Laviña said that the country is also facing the start of the “massive integration” of the 10 member countries of the ASEAN.

“We will undergo a national study of all these proposals and once these are presented and approved, these will be presented to our people through plebiscite that will be another electoral exercise within the next two years,” he said.

He said that the country needs to unite towards meeting all these challenges. (davaotoday.com)

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