THE President’s Consultative Committee (Con-com) has clarified that the June 27 and June 30 drafts circulating in social media were not the official and final copy that the Committee had signed on Tuesday.
A copy of the committee’s proposed federal constitution is yet to be submitted to the President on July 9 but copies of these drafts were already leaked online.
Con-com spokesman Conrado I. Generoso said in a statement that these copies, which he referred to as “working documents,” “do not contain further corrections made during the en banc meeting on June 28 and submitted by members through e-mail on July 1 and 2.”
“There were still some corrections that the members suggested on the morning of July 3 before the voting took place,” he said.
The June 27 draft also consists of only 21 articles but the July 3 draft has 22 articles.
Generoso said the Article on General Provisions had not yet been incorporated in the consolidated draft dated June 27.
Asked by BusinessMirror what corrections or changes were made after the June 30 draft, Generoso cited as an example the provision on the existence of a national economic planning agency or National Economic Development Authority (Neda).
In the June 30 draft obtained by the BusinessMirror from a credible source, there was no provision on NEDA under Article XV National Economy and Patrimony.
However, Generoso said this provision, which was “inadvertently missing,” was restored in the July 2 draft, which was a day before the committee’s 15th en banc session in which the Con-com members approved and signed the draft.
“There were sections that were missing because some subcommittees only submitted the sections with proposed amendments or revisions and not those that were supposed to be retained,” he said.
He also noted that the differences between the June 30 and the July 3 drafts were “important.”
He added, “Our view is every word in the Constitution is important.”
According to Generoso, “Before releasing the copy to the public, all the further corrections made would have been incorporated in the copy. That is all we want because once we release it, we don’t want people making analysis on the basis of a document which is not yet the final document,” he said. “We have been very, very, very careful about all these things and we have been transparent in everything.”
Generoso added in the statement that other corrections made after June 30 included styling, checking for grammar, sentence construction, punctuations marks, redundancies, possible conflicts with other sections, and comparison with the 1987 Constitution to ensure that all provisions that were to be retained were actually retained in the draft, he said.
Amid the leak, the Con-com stressed that the official copy will be released after it is submitted to the President “as a matter of courtesy” on Monday next week (July 9).