January 20, 2020
A new movement that will lobby the public and Congress to approve amendments to the 1987 Constitution before the 2022 elections to implement the political, economic and social reforms advocated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte has appealed to Congress to approve a broader set of political and economic reforms that will empower voters and help solve the endemic social ills that plague the country.

The CORE (Constitutional Reform) Movement headed by former Masbate Gov. Vicente Homer “Vince” Revil said at the media launching of the group that it will lobby with the House of Representatives to pass the broader set of constitutional changes when it starts plenary debates on the committee report approved by the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments last December 2019.

The new movement was launched in a media event at the Multi-Purpose Center in Camp Crame in the presence of Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairperson of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, and other civil society organizations (CSO) and constitutional reform supporters.

CORE Movement officials led by Revil turned over to Rep. Rodriguez their resolution calling on the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene as a constituent assembly and approve the broad package of social, political and economic reforms in the 1987 Constitution.

The House committee has passed a proposed resolution asking the Senate and the House to convene a constituent assembly to consider constitutional amendments for submission in a plebiscite before the 2022 elections.

In response, Rodriguez said he will back the efforts of the CORE Movement for broader reforms in the country’s Constitution. “I fully support the call for real reforms as enunciated by President Duterte since the 2016 elections,” Rodriguez said.

“Real reforms are needed to improve the country’s economic, political and social system and make our Constitution more responsive to our people’s needs in the future,” he added.

Secretary Año said that for its part, the Inter-Agency Task Force and DILG will intensify the information and education campaign so Filipinos could learn more about the need for constitutional reforms and its benefits “in our desire to bring about and propel changes in the government and our society.”

Revil said the CORE Movement will promote constitutional reforms as an urgent public concern that need to be approved by Congress and submitted to a plebiscite before the 2022 national and local elections.

“The CORE Movement firmly believes in President Duterte’s call for basic reforms in our society to take effect through amendments of the social, political, economic and electoral provisions of the 1987 Constitution,” Revil declared.

“We believe that endemic social ills like corruption and the massive poverty in our regions is due to the strong legal and economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution that preserves the control over the electoral system by corrupt politicians and their cooperation with greedy oligarchs who control our economy with their control of our politicians and the justice system,” he added.

The CORE Movement Chairperson said that to preserve the mandate of voters during elections, Congress should also approve the ban on turncoatism or the switching of political party membership of elected officials after every election.

“The practice of turncoatism has kept the political largesse system permanent and established corruption as source of strengthening political power in our country,” Revil noted.

He said the CORE Movement will seek to lobby Congress to pass electoral reforms that will prohibit political dynasties and impose tough rules on political parties by requiring them to ensure they have membership among ordinary voters.

Revil said the CORE Movement also will campaign for the amendment of the Constitution’s economic provisions so that more capital for new industries could be sourced by opening all or certain industries currently limited by the 1987 Constitution to Filipino investments to foreign investments.

“We deserve freedom from oligarchs who keep control of our national and regional economies through limited investments in our industries. We need more capital and innovation to create more jobs and boost our economy especially in the regions where most poor Filipinos live,” he added.