Press Release
September 14, 2008

Charter change only after May 2010, Gordon insists

Sen. Richard J. Gordon today reiterated his strong stance that any move to introduce changes to the 1987 Constitution should be made only after the presidential, senatorial, congressional and local elections in May 2010.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate constitutional amendments committee, said he is gratified that more and more people seem to agree with him that it is only after May 2010 elections that the Charter should be opened up for possible changes.

"The nation indeed deserves - and requires - a real debate on changing the fundamental law of the land where people are actively involved and the broadest spectrum of societal representatives are engaged, and are therefore presented with unadulterated facts and solid arguments and counter-arguments," he said.

Former defense secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. earlier cautioned the public to be more vigilant against any attempt to change the Constitution before May 2010 elections to prevent suspicion that such move stands to benefit some officials.

While he agrees with Cruz's views, Gordon stressed however that this should not discourage, much less stop, the country's political leadership and the public in general from engaging in a dispassionate debate.

"Should we decide to change our Constitution after May 2010, for the first time in the country's political history, we will have a chance to have a Constitution that would be drafted by non-partisan constitutional experts," he added.

Scholars and political pundits have been batting for the need to open the present Constitution for immediate review and revision, rectifying its many flawed provisions that hamper the country's economic growth and political maturity.

According to them, the Malolos Constitution is considered as a revolutionary constitution, the 1935 Commonwealth Constitution as a colonial constitution, while the 1973 Constitution was devised under the auspices of martial law, and the 1987 Constitution was drafted by a group of arbitrarily appointed persons.

Gordon said he wants the issue of changing the Constitution as an election issue so that the move to alter it after 2010 would be free from suspicions and from any political vested interest of the President and other incumbent officials.

"Those contemplating on running for the presidency in 2010 must argue and take a stance, otherwise they mean nothing," he said, adding that he is opened to the idea of reviewing the term limits of the President and other elective officials.

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