Press Release
July 8, 2016

Zubiri calls for election of 86 independent Concon delegates
alongside October barangay polls

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed a bill calling for the election of 86 independent delegates to a Constitutional Convention (Concon) alongside the October 10 barangay polls.

Zubiri said his still unnumbered bill is the answer to the growing public clamor for constitutional reform -- a clamor reinforced by the election of President Rodrigo Duterte who ran on a federalism platform.

"There shall be an election of delegates to a Concon simultaneous with the holding of the October 2016 barangay elections," according to the senator's proposed Concon Act of 2016.

"We are proposing to constitute a Concon of exactly 100 delegates -- one delegate from every province, or a total of 81 from all provinces, five delegates from the National Capital Region, plus 14 delegates to be appointed by the President," Zubiri said.

The Concon is expected to complete the draft of a proposed new Constitution inside 36 months. Thereafter, the draft shall be submitted to the people for ratification in a plebiscite within 90 days.

The proposed new Constitution shall become valid once ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite.

As proposed by Zubiri in his bill:

  • Any person may aspire to be Concon delegate, as long as he or she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, at least 25 years of age on election day, a registered voter, able to read and write, and a resident for at least one year of the province or region which he or she seeks to represent;

  • All persons who filed certificates of candidacy (COCs) for any national or local position in the May 9, 2016 elections, including nominees as party-list representatives, whether they won or lost, are disqualified as candidates for election as Concon delegates;

  • The same disqualification applies to any person who is related within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to any incumbent elected national official, or to any sitting elected regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay official in the administrative region where the person seeks to be elected as Concon delegate;

  • Any person holding appointive public office or position, including members of the Armed Forces and officers and employees of government-owned and -controlled corporations, shall be considered resigned from his or her position upon the filing of his or her COC as Concon delegate;

  • No candidate for Concon delegate shall represent or allow himself or herself to be represented as a candidate of any political party, party-list group or any other organization;

  • No political party, party-list group, political association, political committee, civic, religious, professional or other organized group or aggrupation of whatever nature shall intervene in a Concon delegate's nomination, or in the filing of a delegate's COC, or give aid or support to, directly or indirectly, material or otherwise, favorable to or against, a delegate's campaign for election;

  • Any person elected as a Concon delegate shall not be eligible to run for any public office or position in the first national and first local elections to be held after the ratification of the new Constitution;

  • No elected Concon delegate shall be appointed to any public office or position while the Concon is in session and within a year after the plebiscite to ratify the new Constitution.

The bill proposes to earmark P5 billion for the Concon, which shall establish its own rules and regulations for the effective and efficient conduct of its purpose and proceedings.

The measure specifies that except for the Supreme Court, no other court shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the Concon, in any case or dispute arising from or necessary to, the application and enforcement of the provisions of the law that formed the convention.

It also provides that a Concon delegate shall not be questioned nor held in any other place for any speech or debate in the convention or in any committee thereof, or in any public hearing conducted by the convention or any committee thereof.

A Concon delegate shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while attending the convention's session, and in going to and returning from the same.

The Concon shall have the power to cite any person in direct or indirect contempt, and impose the appropriate penalties for contumacious conduct.

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