THE House of Representatives has adopted a resolution honoring the drafters of the Philippine Constitutions and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention (Con-con).
“The drafters of our 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions deserve the highest recognition for their essential role in transforming the political, economic and social milieus of our country,” House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin G. Romualdez said Tuesday of House Resolution (HR) 1478 adopted Monday. “These illustrious names should be remembered by everyone for the unique and genuine service they rendered to the nation. They represented the Filipino people and though their wisdom, the collective agreement of our aspirations as a nation was established.”
“This resolution also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention on June 1, 2021. Without the 1971 Con-con that revised the 1935 Constitution, as well as the other bodies formed to revise our constitutions, the foundation of our aims as a Filipino nation would not have been realized,” added Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and the president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa). “These great men and women charted our future by giving credence to our roots.”
According to Romualdez, principal author of HR 1478, the 1971 Con-con was headed successively by two former Presidents, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. The other delegates of the Convention later became key political leaders, statesmen, and magistrates which include former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Chief Justice Pedro Yap, Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Supreme Court Chief Justice Jose Yulo, Jr., Senate President and Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, Senate Minority Floor Leader and Supreme Court Justice Estanislao Fernandez, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Senate President Edgardo Angara, Supreme Court Justice Jose Feria, Supreme Court Justice Abraham Sarmiento, Supreme Court Justice Fidel Purisima, Supreme Court Justice Adolfo Azcuna, Court of Appeals Justice Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, Court of Appeals Justice Alfredo Lagamon, Sandiganbayan Justice Anacleto Badoy, Jr., Assemblyman Antonio Tupaz, Assemblyman Antonio Raquiza, Assemblyman Rustico de los Reyes, Jr., Senator Roseller Lim, Senator Sotero Laurel, Senator Raul Manglapus, Senator Raul Roco, Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto, Senator Heherson Alvarez and Senator Richard Gordon.
Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), said some of the 1971 Con-con delegates are still living today, such as former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Gordon, Lilia De Lima, Margarito Teves, Ernesto Amatong, and Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, among others.
“In this year of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, it is but fitting to also celebrate and honor the great women and men who drafted the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions for their exemplary work, valuable contribution, and legacy to the country in setting the course of our national history which deserve the utmost recognition of the Filipino people,” the resolution read.
Meanwhile, the delegates of the 1934 Con-con include the renowned statesman, Senator Claro M. Recto and the so called “Seven Wise Men of the Constitutional Convention,” namely: Senator Filemon Sotto, Supreme Court Justice Norberto Romualdez, President Manuel Roxas, Senator Vicente Singson Encarnacion, Supreme Court Justice Manuel C. Briones, Central Bank Governor Miguel Cuaderno, Sr., and Filipino statesman Conrado Benitez.
Many of the 1934 Constitutional Convention delegates became esteemed legal luminaries and respected leaders in Philippine politics, and three of them became presidents: Presidents Roxas, Jose Laurel and Elpidio R. Quirino, according to Romualdez.
He added that the 1987 Constitutional Commission was composed of men and women of great legal acumen and outstanding leaders. Among them were former Supreme Court Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma, Supreme Court Justice Adolfo Azcuna, Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr., Supreme Court Justice Flerida Ruth Pineda-Romero, Supreme Court Justice Florenz Regalado, Jr., Court of Appeals Justice Regalado Maambong, Senate President Blas Ople, House Speaker Jose Laurel, Jr., Senator Ambrosio Padilla, Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto, Senator Lorenzo Sumulong, Senator Francisco Rodrigo, Assemblyman Rustico de los Reyes, Jr. and Jose Luis Martin Gascon.
The resolution further called for the celebration of the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions through meaningful discussions in schools and other educational institutions. The complete names of the drafters of the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions were likewise listed in the resolution.