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Author Topic: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution  (Read 251 times)

islander

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CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution

Bishops: Drafting of Constitution concerns all Filipinos; amendments should be consistent with Gospel

By: Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 31, 2017

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has urged its flock to take part in amending the 1987 Constitution to ensure that democracy, human rights and the sanctity of the family are upheld.

In a pastoral letter issued on Tuesday, the country’s bishops also maintained their firm opposition to attempts to impose a “dictatorial martial rule” in the country.

“Let us continue to maintain the safeguards against dictatorial martial rule that our present constitution contains,” the CBCP said in its three-page pastoral letter, “Amending the Constitution.”

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islander

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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 01:57:03 PM »

The bishops likewise highlighted the need to study the issue of federalism, which President Duterte has been actively pushing for.

Federalism, as well as the country’s sovereignty, respect for human rights, the death penalty, and the sanctity of the family were among the issues raised in the three-page pastoral letter.

CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas noted that the clamor for federalism “stems from the dissatisfaction of many people with the lack of equitable distribution of benefits, power and financial resources in our present unitary system.”


islander

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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 01:57:34 PM »

“Do we need to change from our present unitary system to a federal system of government? Or will it suffice to introduce amendments and laws which will make the present unitary system responsive to the needs of disadvantaged regions?” he asked.

The CBCP, through Villegas, issued the pastoral letter after its three-day plenary assembly over the weekend.

The Filipino bishops discussed issues such as moves to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes, the government’s war on illegal drugs and the spate of extra-judicial killings, federalism, and the proliferation of trolls and fake news on social media.


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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 01:58:06 PM »

In its pastoral letter, the CBCP said it was not endorsing or disapproving moves to amend the 1987 Constitution as being pushed by Duterte, but to offer pastoral guidance to its flock.

The CBCP stressed the need to assert that “sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them,” adding that “public office is a public trust.”

“Let us not allow any public official to act as if he is the master of the people, for a person is elected or appointed to public office to be a servant of the people,” the pastoral letter pointed out.


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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 01:58:33 PM »

The bishops urged the public to be vigilant in ensuring that the provisions in the 1987 Constitution on respecting human rights and the sanctity of the family as a basic social institution, are upheld.

“We urge you to get involved in the process of amending the Constitution so that all its provisions will be consistent with the Gospel, and the gains of the 1987 Constitution will be preserved and enhanced, instead of being removed,” it said.

The bishops also emphasized provisions in the 1987 Constitution guaranteeing full respect for human rights, particularly the Bill of Rights.


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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 01:59:07 PM »

“Let us ensure that provisions of our Bill of Rights are preserved, especially, ‘No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws,’” it said.

“Likewise very important is the prohibition of the death penalty, which we advocate to be made absolute,” the letter added.

The Church also asserted its pro-life stance as it called for the protection of the provision in which “the state shall equally protect the life of the mother and the unborn from conception.”


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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 01:59:31 PM »

The CBCP urged the faithful to safeguard Constitutional provisions on the sanctity of the family as a basic autonomous social institution.

The bishops pointed out that they supported the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, while acknowledging its imperfections.

The CBCP added that the drafting of a Constitution and its amendments concerns all Filipinos, and that such amendments should be consistent with the Gospel and promote the common good.


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Re: CBCP to public: Get involved in process of amending Constitution
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 02:00:04 PM »

“The process of amending the Constitution should not be left to politicians or to those who either by election or appointment will be tasked to draft the amendments… The Constitution is the single most important document of our country. The Filipinos are the author of this document,” they said.

Those who are tasked to draft or amend it, the bishops stressed, are not the authors but the instruments of the Filipinos, and that it only becomes valid upon the people’s approval.

“We must be vigilant and watch over, and even suggest ideas and formulations that enter into the Constitution. We have to make sure that the resulting document embodies ‘our rights, our ideals, our aspirations, and our dreams,’” the letter stressed. JE

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