President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday renewed his call for the amendment or removal of the provision on the party-list system in the 1987 Constitution, saying this is only being used as an electoral vehicle of the rich and powerful.
“To be honest, we need to amend the Constitution. But it’s up to you,” Duterte said in Filipino in a speech in Batangas.
He said proposing amendments to the Constitution could either be done through constituent assembly (Con-ass) or constitutional convention (Con-con).
“The Constitution is not really a perfect one. I would not say it is the worst Constitution, but we have copied that from America word-for-word halos when we established the Republic in 1947, we became the Republic of the Philippines,” he added in Filipino.
He also reiterated that it was during the administration of the late President Corazon “Cory” Aquino that the party-list system was used as a backdoor to get elected to Congress.
“That Constitution was during Cory’s time. The party-list was supposed to be–it was an enabling law or in the Constitution itself to give representation to the people–exactly like for the common people and the poor…” he said in Filipino.
Duterte said it is now being used by the rich to establish themselves in Congress.
“All the rich, in the entire Philippines, all millionaires have party-lists, they’re grabbing party-lists. Others who have no party-lists, they buy,” he added in Filipino.
He acknowledged that there are party-lists that really represent marginalized sectors, but noted that there are “opportunists” taking advantage of their wealth and power.
“Others are really straight. The problem is the opportunists. That is my advice to you,” he said in Filipino.