Sotto: No timeline yet for 2019 plebiscite

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Senate President Vicente Sotto III could not give a specific timeline that would have the draft Federal Constitution approved by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) hit the target of a plebiscite by the middle of next year even as the ConCom dismissed as incomplete a supposed copy of the proposed charter circulating online.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, chairman of ConCom, expressed hopes the approved draft Constitution could be presented to the public through a plebiscite by mid-2019.

Sotto said the Senate will still have to work with the House of Representatives to finalize a legislative calendar for the draft charter.

“It’s very difficult to judge the timing. They are not aware of the congressional schedule that’s why they think that’s possible,” Sotto said.

“We still have to finalize the calendar with our House counterparts,” he added.

At least three days’ worth of changes and revisions, those are what may be missing in the supposed draft “Federal Constitution” being circulated online, ConCom spokesperson Ding Generoso said yesterday.

Generoso made the clarification a day after the 22-member ConCom unanimously approved the draft charter for submission to Mr. Duterte last July 3.

According to Generoso, the draft being circulated online dated June 27 and June 30 does not reflect the many changes, including the last-minute corrections done by the ConCom before voting on the draft.

p: wjg