No solid ground yet for Cha-cha at Senate–Pangilinan
The Senate has no official stand yet on Charter change (Cha-cha) proposal.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Panglilinan made this clear on Tuesday as the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, which he chairs, resumed its hearing on Cha-Cha.
“Ililiwanag ko lang po sa publiko at sa ating mga resource persons na sa ngayon wala pang promal na posisyon ang Senado sa usapin ng kailangan ba ng Charter change o hindi, kung napapanahon ba ito, kung pederalismo nga ba ang sagot sa mga problema ng ating bansa at kung Con-ass ba o Con-con ang mas mainam na paraan kung babaguhin nga ang Saligang Batas,” Pangilinan said in his opening statement.
(I just want to make it clear with the public and to our resource persons that at the moment the Senate has no formal position yet on the issue whether we need Charter change or not, if this is timely, if federalism is the answer to our country’s problems, and if Con-ass or Con-con is a better way to change the Constitution.)
Con-ass is constituent assembly while Con-con Constitutional convention.
But to have deeper understanding of Cha-cha, the senator stressed the importance of conducting an open public hearing to listen to the pros and cons of the proposal.
Because in the end, Pangilinan said the people would be the final judge whether or not there is a need to amend the 1987 Constitution.
Pangilinan, thus, said that the committee’s hearing on Tuesday would focus on the following issues:
- Is there really a public clamor for Charter change? If so, where is the evidence?
- Is federalism the only way to bring more development to the provinces?
- Is term extension and no elections part of the agenda behind Charter change? Who will benefit from it the most?
- What would be the role of the draft Constitution prepared by the Consultative Committee, which was transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte and Congress. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.