CBCP questions cha-cha, should not be captured by narrow political interests

CBCP Bishops during a mass after their plenary assembly in Cebu on January 28 / / photo by CBCP news

On Monday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) questioned the moves to review the 1987 Constitution to shift to a new form of government system – federalism. 

The CBCP said that the plan to review the Constitution should be participative and not be handled only by those with narrow political interest.

As they gathered for their bi-annual plenary assembly, on their “pastoral guidelines” regarding cha-cha, the prelates question the lawmakers’ plan to amend the Constitution themselves.

“Participation is at the heart of democracy. Clearly, a move for Charter change that involves transforming the Congress into a Constituent Assembly is bound to be deficient of widespread peoples’ participation, discussion, and consultation. It would be totally rash for members of Congress to presume the reasoned approval of their constituents on so grave an issue as the move to overhaul the nation’s Charter,” the CBCP said.

According to bishops, full implementation of the Constitution was needed, instead of amending it.

“As servant leaders, we have listened to many others who believe that the solution to these problems is not a revision of the Constitution, but a full implementation of the 1987 Constitution (e.g., on political dynasties & on freedom of information), and a revision of the Local Government Code, originally designed to devolve power from central authority, following the moral principle of subsidiarity,” the CBCP said.

“We have also heard the views of those who believe that the solution we seek is ultimately the transformation of our political culture, the eradication of a political mindset of personalities, pay-offs, and patronage – a culture that is entrenched in our present political structures and practices. Without conversion of mindsets, the new political wine of Charter change will remain in old political wine-skins, and merely end up bursting the hope for a new political culture,” it added.

Furthermore, the CBCP also expressed concerns over the “pro-life” provision of the 1987 Constitution, such as ban on divorce, abortion, which might be removed in the revised charter.

Source: Manila Times

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