Senators dance to different beats of Cha-cha


Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines—Reelectionist senators who joined the First Inquirer Senate Forum on “How does the Senate really work” expressed varying degrees of openness to the proposal to amend the Constitution.

So far, proposed amendments to the Constitution have been divided into two categories: economic, which includes increasing foreign ownership of businesses and the deletion of the provision banning foreign ownership of land; and political, such as doing away with term limits on elective positions.

There are also disagreements to the mode for Charter change (Cha-cha): constitutional convention, constituent assembly, or people’s initiative.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, president of PDP-Laban, expressed his objections to letting foreigners own land.  “There are still so many landless Filipinos,” he said.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano wanted a “thorough study” of proposed changes and warned of possible divisions if some sectors insisted on unpopular political amendments.

While Cayetano and Sen. Loren Legarda indicated openness to Cha-cha, they agreed that in lieu of this, laws could be improved or strengthened so as to preserve the 1987 Constitution and save the government from an exhausting overhaul of the country’s basic law.

However, Sen. Francis Escudero considered the Constitution as “a living document … not etched in stone like the Ten Commandments” and that a regular examination should determine the applicability of its provisions or identify the sections that should be amended.

Pimentel said PDP-Laban’s “basic objective is the adoption of a federal system of government that cannot be done without Cha-cha.”

He echoed Escudero’s observation that the incumbent 23 senators have always been saddled with the work similarly done by more than 280 members of the House of Representatives in the bicameral set-up.

Escudero said he would like to consider a parliamentary form of government.

But Pimentel said allowing foreigners to own land in the Philippines could be a “divisive and emotional issue.”

Cayetano said this should make it necessary for a multi-sectoral consultation on “what policies should be changed and whether there really is a need for Cha-cha.” He said the nation must determine whether Cha-cha would be key to making economic development trickle down to the grassroots.

Escudero believes the issue of foreign media ownership has become superfluous “when I can watch CNN or read Newsweek in my bedroom.”

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  • contrarianz view


    we only need honest governing to move this country forward to 1st world status, we are already starting to see that with the present dispensation. we only need to put more teeth to our penal laws and actually put people in prison. BUILD A NEW PRISON in which to put convicted government officials. copy and enact a RICO (racketeer influenced and corrupt practices act) law and start putting more people in prison for perjury and tax evasion.

    coco is right there are so many filipinos without land that if you allow it, the foreigners will gobble up all that land and the price will shoot up tenfold, a hundredfold the prices will be prohibitive no filipinos will be able to afford it even if he worked 2 jobs the cha cha is suppose to generate as what proponents purports it to be. GIVE IT TIME, honest governing that is.

  • GeorginaBilson

    I wont vote for escudero unless he can prove that he really deserves a second term by what he plans to do when re-elected, kasi right now all I hear is heart this, relationship that. mas bagay ka sa showbiz namin dito…

    • karunungan32

      escudero seemed promising at first, but when he got elected and the years go by, I slowly realized how much of a waste he was. you can’t really say anything that would define him e.

    • ye854bela729

      Y blame Chiz?If mala show-biz dating nya?blame da media na nakatutok sa kanila ni Heart!o yung babae, na luv sumabit s Politiko baka dreaming maging FL ng s adverts at Tv shows, ingit kayong lahat at di kayo? Kumita ng xtra! Comon cchin ang Parents ni babae scandalosos being may sinabi pa raw ewan ko lng huh mayroong nga bang cnab?bakit nagkakalat?eh bakit di anak nila ang itali sa bahay at cchin c lalake hoy, lalake yan no?Talagang maraming ingiteron at ingitera dyan sa karamihang ng ating ka pPinoyan Get a Life Pls! hay Naku! Ty

  • GatasNgCow

    trapo m chiz. isang senator na kala nya artista sya sa pag commercials mo at ung fake relationship mo ni heart. tapos gusto mo pa ng second term? para saan?

  • SuyaMelk

    puro salita lang si chiz ngayon, pagatapos ng elections tapos elected na, biglang tahimik na sya at yun…sayang ulit ung votes nyo..


    they will be the ones to object if they proposed a federal form or parliamentary form of govt.mawawalan sila ng trabaho after all it only personal interest why they run not public interest..much btter if we have a parliamentary form of govt,at least poltical dynasty will
    be eliminated

  • Guest

    laging 20 percent ang commission ni Jinggoy sa mga soft and hard project niya kaya tingnan mo marami siyang pang-sugal sa Macau.

  • Guest

    In the next 16th Congress dapat mag-majority na itong si Alan Cayetano. Tutaul dikit naman talaga siya kay PNoy.

    • Guest

      Ngayon, Sen. Alan Cayetano ranks 2nd-to-3rd in the senatorial surveys. Pag nag-number 1 pa yan sa May elections,
      mangangarap din yang maging VP?

  • rene


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