Nene Pimentel: Con-Com meetings should be open to media
MANILA, Philippines – Consultative Committee (Con-Com) member and former Senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr wants meetings of the body reviewing possible amendments to the Constitution to be open to the media for transparency.
“My own view is that our discussions should be open and transparent and covered by media,” Pimentel said on Thursday, February 8 as he spoke to media at the sidelines of the committee’s first meeting.
“There should be no secret deliberations. Bakit sikreto? (Why secret?) We are a free country therefore the freedom of speech and the press must already be exercised by the people,” he said.
Media, said Pimentel, play a crucial role in informing the public about moves to amend the 1987 Constitution and can help engage them into discussion and critical thinking about the initiative.
"The more the people get to understand it, the better its chances for approval by the people," he said.
Reporters who wanted to cover the committee’s “preparatory meeting” were stopped by guards of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), venue of the gathering.
Some, however, were able to enter the lobby area where they waited for committee members to come out. Pimentel agreed to be interviewed by the media.
The meeting started at around 11 am and is still ongoing as of publication.
There are currently 19 members in the committee, though President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order creating the body mandates a membership of 25.
Pimentel said the committee, led by former Supreme Court Chief Justice and federalism advocate Reynato Puno, agreed to meet everyday from Monday to Friday until July, the deadline for the committee’s report.
Meetings will be held at the PICC where rooms have been reserved for the sub-committees to be formed. – Rappler.com