STATEMENT
By the ConCom Media Office

09 July 2018 Ref: Ding I. Generoso, Spokesman

ConCom: LET THE DEBATE BEGIN

● Today, the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution officially submits to
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte the draft Constitution that will usher in the country’s shift
from unitary to federal system of government.  

● Today, the ConCom also releases the official copy to the media and the public so that the
debate and deliberation on every Article, every Section, every sentence, and every word can
begin.  

● Today, the ConCom also announces that it shall review and revise the Transitory Provisions
in accordance with the President’s instructions.  

● Today, we also take note of the greatest accomplishment of ConCom. And No, it is
not the draft Constitution.  

● The more significant, the more important accomplishment of the ConCom is — by
coming up with a draft Constitution — the people now have a document they can
hold in their hands, read, scrutinize every word, agree or disagree with, analyze and
discuss with their families, their friends.  

● Before this, much of the talk and discussion was based on ideas, proposals and
suggestions floating in the air.  

● Now they are on paper. SO LET THE DEBATE BEGIN. For this is what democracy
is all about.  

● Let us debate, agree and disagree and discuss the draft Constitution. But let us debate
intelligently and with reason—and stop parading ghosts that don’t exist. Because the
only way to advance and defend democracy is with reason. Nothing else.  

● And let the PEOPLE’S VOICE be heard—not just the voice of those who have access
to mass media or the voices of those we have heard over and over again.  

● For in the end, it is the PEOPLE’S VOICE that will matter—because they will be the
ultimate judge if and when the draft constitution is submitted to a plebiscite.  

● It is rather ironic and quizzical that, when the ConCom began its task on February 19
this year, many viewed its mandate as insignificant. They said whatever ConCom
 
Office of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution
Philippine  International  Convention  Center,  PICC  Complex,  Roxas  Boulevard,  Manila  1307  
ConCom2018@yahoo.com  
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comes up with would be merely recommendatory and that the Congress can choose to
overhaul it or set it aside completely.  

● Yet in the few days leading to the official submission to the President today, the
ConCom draft became the “most sought-after” document as if the fate of the world
rested on it.  

● The ConCom is well aware that there are doubting Thomases and there are those with
suspicious minds. To them, we simply present Elvis Presley:  

“We are caught in a trap ...
We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds”

● Our country has long been caught in a trap — of political insanity, poverty and
unbalanced development.  

● We have to break the trap. But we can’t do it if we do not, at least, try to restore and
rebuild our trust—in our country, in our leaders, in ourselves, in each other.  

● We have been building this nation based on mistrust and distrust. We cannot have a
nation like that.  

● So for a start, let us at least, give each other the benefit of the doubt, that we all mean
well for this country and no one has a monopoly of patriotism, no one has a monopoly
of adherence to democracy, and no one has a monopoly of the good heart in every
man and in every Filipino.