Hontiveros slams ‘no-el’ proposal
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday slammed proposals to postpone the 2019 midterm elections to allow lawmakers to tackle a draft constitution that would pave the way for the country’s shift to federalism, which she said is a move to prolong the term limits of the President’s allies.
Hontiveros urged her colleagues in Congress to set their priorities straight and not sacrifice the people’s rights over their own ambitions.
“Postponing the elections to give way to deliberations on federalism is a great disservice to the proposed new system of governance. Was that what the President’s federalism was all about all along? Prolong the term limits of his political allies?” she asked.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday it would be “practical” to postpone the 2019 polls to allow lawmakers to focus on federalism.
Hontiveros said what needs to be cancelled was the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.
“Instead of advancing narrow political interests such as prolonging terms of public office through an unnecessary postponement of elections, what Congress needs to do is protect the people’s economic rights and welfare,” she said.
She challenged her fellow lawmakers to join her in pushing for the passage of Senate Bill No. 1671 or the “Bawas VAT” bill that seeks to lower the value added tax (VAT) from 12 percent to 10 percent “to provide relief for the lower economic deciles of the population affected by the Train Law.”
She asked: “Pwede bang mamamayan muna bago ambisyon? (Can we prioritize citizens over ambition?)” /ee
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