Enrile, Belmonte troop to Palace hoping to ‘Cha-cha’By Cathy Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The top leaders of Congress will go to see President Benigno Aquino at Malacañang Monday to explain the necessity of amending economic provisions of the Constitution to make business in the country “more flexible.”
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he did not have in mind doing away completely with the 60-40 ratio favoring Filipino investors over foreigners.
“Just that we need to give ourselves the flexibility by authorizing Congress to change the ratio when there is a need for it. But (the idea is) always to protect the interest of the Filipino people in controlling the economy,” Enrile explained in a radio interview over dzBB radio Sunday.
Enrile said it was Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who told him they would be going to Malacañang on Monday to see the President.
Enrile said they plan to get Mr. Aquino’s insights on the matter.
So far, Malacañang has been cool to the idea of Charter change. Past attempts had been controversial, raising suspicions that lawmakers wanted only to do away with term limits for elected positions.
“This is just one amendment and it involves just one phrase,” Enrile said.
The Senate President said the senators would be informed this afternoon how things went in the discussion with the President.
“It’s possible we would be able to explain properly and (the President) would understand. If not, we will consider the position of the President (and decide) whether to proceed or not,” Enrile said.
Enrile said he would call for a caucus right after the roll call in the Senate Monday to gather the sentiments of his colleagues in connection with Charter change.
Senator Joker Arroyo earlier cautioned that moves to amend the Constitution would only prosper with the approval of Malacañang.
“The reality of Philippine politics is that what the President wants, the President gets. If the President does not want Cha-cha (Charter change), no one will get it. So it all depends on the President,” he had said.
Enrile, however, said the meeting with Mr. Aquino would be more “a matter of courtesy and coordination with another branch of government.”
He insisted that Charter change had become necessary, given the new world order that was not the case when the 1987 Constitution was crafted and ratified.