Thursday, February 17, 2011

Senate begins public hearing on Cha-cha today

MANILA, Feb. 16 (PNA) – The Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and law kicks off its public hearing on “The Necessity of Charter Change” on Thursday morning at the Session Hall.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said constitutional law experts, including former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, have been invited as lecturers and resource persons in the two-hour hearing from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Aside from Puno, other lecturers include Justice Florentino Feliciano, Justice Vicente Mendoza, Justice Adolfo Azcuna, Dean Merlin Magallona and Dr. Jose Abueva.

”We want to know from the constitutional law experts if there is really a need to change our Constitution,” Santiago, herself a Constitutional law expert, said.

Several senators, including Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, have expressed support to begin debates on the revived move to Charter change from the House of Representatives.

However, the lawmakers remain divided on how to amend or change the Constitution as most senators prefer constituent assembly over the constitutional convention.

In a constituent assembly, incumbent members will convene to discuss any proposed amendments to the Constitution while in a constitutional convention, constitutional experts have to be elected to tackle specific amendments.

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