Category Archives: CHARTER CHANGE


GLORIA ARROYOSpeaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday denied allegations that the House leadership is railroading the passage of the proposed federal constitution.

Arroyo made the statement following the second reading approval of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 15 on Tuesday after only three session days of plenary debates.
“It was part of the democratic process. There was a debate. It was voted on,” Arroyo told reporters in an ambush interview.

READ MOREHouse approves draft federal charter on 2nd reading

Arroyo, who is a principal author of RBH 15, said the draft federal charter is expected to be put to a vote on third and final reading on Monday (December 10).
“We are able to pass it on second reading so three days after the copy is circulated, we should be taking it up on third reading. Hopefully, that would be Monday,” she said.
RBH 15 proposes a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government and empowers Congress to establish federal states.
It seeks to adopt and develop a two-party system as a mechanism of representation and democratic governance.
It also lifts the term limits for members of Congress. Lawmakers shall be required to have a college degree.
The first election under the proposed Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 2022.
The term of the President and Vice President, which shall end in 2022, shall not be extended. The incumbent president is prohibited from running in the 2022 elections. (PNA)

‘Breakaway’ MNLF group backs BOL

mnlf breakaway
BOL SUPPORT. Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza meets with MNLF leaders in Davao City on Friday (Nov. 2, 2018). To his left is former Sulu governor Yusop Jikiri. (Photo courtesy of OPAPP)

A faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which emerged in the wake of an ouster move against Moro leader Nur Misuari as MNLF chairman a few years back, has thrown its support to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Former Sulu governor Yusop Jikiri said in a meeting with Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza in Davao City  on November 2 that they have agreed to implement a massive information, education and communication campaign to push forward the BOL’s ratification in January.


ARMM guv confident BOL can withstand legal scrutiny

COTABATO CITY – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman said Friday he is confident the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) can hurdle scrutiny at the Supreme Court. “We cannot allow the personal interests or anyone to again sow discord where we so clearly need… Read More


Jikiri’s group was also known as the Council of 15 and was formed in late 2001 by the MNLF’s most senior leaders amid claims that Misuari had lost regard of the Moro people. It was previously chaired by Muslimen Sema, Misuari’s vice chair for political affairs, and was recognized by then president Gloria Arroyo as the real MNLF.
In the meeting with Dureza, Jikiri and his group said they were “committed to help the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte by supporting the BOL and campaigning in the plebiscite.”
Jikiri said the campaign would cover “all areas” that were proposed for inclusion in the future Bangsamoro entity.
He said they will partner with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to develop and implement a multi-stakeholder campaign on the issue.
Misuari’s faction was unclear in its support of the BOL. However, it has been reported by Duterte that the aging Moro leader had voiced several concerns over it, including the perception on diminished autonomy and powers. Misuari also insisted on the 1996 peace agreement he had signed with the government.
Duterte had repeatedly said he was talking to Misuari to convince the Moro leader to support the BOL, which he described as the last shot to forging peace in Mindanao.
The President even floated the idea of creating a separate autonomous region for Misuari’s group.
“I’d like to talk to Nur on what he really wanted so that I can give it by the end of the year,” Duterte said in Zamboanga Sibugay in July 2018. He said Misuari can have “autonomy.”
“If that is what he wants and pending the federal system implementation,” he added.
Firdausi Abbas, Jikiri’s foreign minister vice chair, had earlier suggested that Misuari’s faction should also be included, particularly in the composition of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the body that would steer the new region until the elections in 2022.
Abbas, in an interview by Manila Bulletin in August, said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can have 80 percent of the representation to the BTA, the members of whom Duterte will be appointing. His group, he added, was willing to take just 10 percent and the remaining 10 percent should go to Misuari’s faction.
“We still consider them (Misuari’s faction) part of the MNLF,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dureza — in a statement — acknowledged the “strong commitment” of Jikiri’s group to help the national government push for a “greater level of public awareness” on the BOL.
“I am very pleased with the MNLF’s determined efforts to help the Duterte administration in generating a groundswell of support for BBL and ensure its ratification,” Dureza told Jikiri during the meeting.
“The MNLF, under the leadership of Chair Jikiri, has over the years been a reliable partner of the national government in sustaining the gains of peace in Mindanao,” he added.
Dureza noted that Monday’s meeting was an affirmation of the Oct. 7 meeting of the Jikiri-led MNLF in Sulu, during which, a resolution was passed declaring the organization’s “unequivocal support” for the BOL. (PNA)


andaya 2

To pass resolution on separate voting

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. on Monday, August 6,  said the adopted resolution seeking to convene Congress into a constituent assembly (Con-ass) will be withdrawn and will be replaced with a new resolution specifying separate voting on Charter change.

House Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s ousted predecessor, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, wanted  the House to  convene into a Con-ass even without the Senate. 

arroyo alvarez rappler

In an interview with reporters, Andaya said they will withdraw House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 9 during the plenary session either on Monday or Tuesday.

He said the new resolution “expressing the sentiment of the House” would specify that the voting during Con-ass would be done separately by both Chambers.

He added that the new resolution would be referred to the House committee on rules and would no longer undergo the House committee on constitutional amendments.

“There would be withdrawal (of the previous resolution). (The new one is) just a resolution expressing the sentiment of the House which we would refer to the rules committee and then present it to the plenary,” Andaya said.

On Sunday, House constitutional amendments committee chairman Vicente Veloso said Speaker Arroyo has ordered his panel to revise HCR 9 to specify that both Houses would be voting separately.

Arroyo has already agreed to separate voting for Charter change to “move forward” and put an end to the voting “stalemate” between the two chambers.

Several senators have insisted on separate voting on constitutional amendments as joint voting would drown out their votes against more than 200 votes of the lower chamber.

Duterte to close down Congress if Charter mangled by Con-Ass


Congressmen warned against taking advantage of proposed constitutional change
By Joann Santiago

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday called on lawmakers to do their part in changing the Constitution but warned them not to take advantage of it otherwise face the consequence.


“Mamili kayo…You do it properly. Do not, huwag mong lokohin ang tao. Pag pinilit ninyo iyan, sarado kayong lahat (Choose. Do it properly. Do not fool the people . If you insist on it I’ll close you down),” he said referring to lawmakers’ personal interests.

In his speech before volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), who made a courtesy call in Malacanang Wednesday afternoon, the President said he earlier preferred for a change in the Constitution through Constitutional Commission (Con-Con).

He, however, said that upon learning that this needs a budget of at least Php 10 billion up to Php 50 billion, he changed his mind and instead selected a Constitutional Assembly (ConAss).

He stressed his bid for a Constitution change lies on his goal to introduce a Federal system of government, which he believes is the best mode of government that would ensure a sustained and inclusive growth for all citizens.

He also urged the public not to be judgemental on lawmakers’ competence because their worth shows on their track record.

He even pointed out that whatever the lawmakers decide on will be submitted to the voters for a plebiscite.

”And for all the time that you’d been crafting a new Constitution I am here… Maniwala kayo (believe me) that I will be the last one to agree to any thing there that would destroy our country,” he said.

President Duterte, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25, said he favors a federal type of government similar to France.

“If you can amend the Constitution, and you can do it by three to four years, and you can elect a new president and a parliament like France, I will willingly give up the remaining years of my term and go out. Walang drama. Wala lahat. Magre-retire na ako (If you can amend the Constitution and you can do it by three to four years, and you can elect a new president and a parliament like France, I will willingly give up the remaining years of my term and go out. No drama. No anything. I will retire),” he said.

President Duterte also disclosed his intention to “destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government now.”

He cited as example tycoon Roberto Ongpin, Trade and Industry Minister during the Marcos regime, whom he said has connections even in the administration of former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.

Ongpin heads several entities including real estate company Alphaland Corporation, which he serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since November 11, 2009. (PNA)