VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Senate hopeful Gadon wrong on 1987 charter

Read this fact check in Filipino

Senatorial candidate Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon in a government-run talk show falsely claimed the 1987 Constitution did not undergo a proper ratification process.

STATEMENT

Gadon, a lawyer known for his controversial antics, during a Jan. 4 episode of the Presidential Communications Operations Office show Pros & Cons said:

“Kung babalikan natin, ‘yung 1987 Constitution hindi naman talaga ‘yan representante ng talagang diwa ng mga Pilipino sapagkat yung nag-frame ng Constitution na ‘yan ay pinili lang rin ni Cory Aquino (If you look at it, the 1987 Constitution does not really represent the true Filipino spirit because those who drafted it were simply selected by former president Cory Aquino).”

He added:

“At pagkatapos nilang gawin yung constitution, itinalaga na na ‘yun yung constitution. Hindi naman talaga yan dumaan sa sinasabing tamang proseso (And after they finished drafting, they immediately designated it as the constitution. It did not really go through the right process).”

Source: PCOO, Pros & Cons with Usec. Joel Sy Egco -- Charter Change, Jan. 4, 2019, watch from 21:34-22:03

FACT

Gadon’s claim is false; the 1987 Constitution was ratified by eight in ten voting Filipinos in a national plebiscite Feb. 2 the same year.

Of the 21.8 million votes cast from from 83,000 precincts nationwide, 16.6 million were for the charter’s ratification and only 4.95 million against. Some 200,000 Filipinos abstained.

The plebiscite was held less than four months after the Constitutional Commission assembled by former president Aquino submitted the draft charter.

The 1986 provisional constitution directed the Commission to conduct public hearings to “insure that the people will have adequate participation in the formulation of the New Constitution” and gave a 60-day period for a plebiscite after the draft charter submission.

A proposed measure to revise the 1987 Constitution and shift the country’s government from unitary to federal was approved by the House of Representatives Dec. 12.

Gadon, a lawyer of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her plunder case and one of her in-house counsels, is a vocal supporter of the government’s federalism agenda.

He is also known for leading a petition to change the name of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport back to Manila International Airport, and for filing an impeachment complaint against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Gadon currently faces disbarment cases, including for flipping the bird and hurling expletives at Sereno supporters during an April 2018 rally.

He is running under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, a political party founded by late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Sources:

PCOO, Pros & Cons with Usec. Joel Sy Egco - Charter Change, Jan. 4, 2019

Official Gazette, Constitution Day - Evolution of the Philippine Constitution

Official Gazette, Proclamation 3, s. 1986

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 58, s. 1987

Philstar.com, In final vote, House approves charter change, Dec. 12, 2018

ABS-CBN News, House approves draft federal charter on 3rd reading, Dec. 11, 2018

BusinessMirror, Draft federal charter hurdles House on third reading, Dec. 12, 2018

Rappler.com, Who is Larry Gadon, the man behind one Sereno impeachment complaint?, Oct. 6, 2018

ABS-CBN News, Duterte meets lawyer behind impeachment complaint vs Sereno, April 4, 2018

Philstar.com, Gadon denies Duterte’s hand in Sereno impeachment, April 4, 2018

Larrygadon.com, Meet Atty. Larry Gadon

Rappler Youtube Channel, Gadon curses, raises middle finger at Sereno supporters, April 9, 2018

Inquirer.net, 4TH disbarment case filed against Sereno accuser Gadon, April 25, 2018

CNN Philippines, Blogger files 4th disbarment case vs Gadon, April 24, 2018

ABS-CBN News, New disbarment case filed against Gadon, April 24, 2018

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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