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Approved House draft charter has ‘no lifespan,’ says Sotto

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 05:04 PM December 15, 2018
Vicente Sotto III at the Senate Session Hall

Senate President Vicente Sotto III at the Senate Session hall (File photo by EDWIN BACASMAS / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday dismissed Resolution of Both Houses No. 15 —  a draft federal charter approved by the House — as having “no lifespan.”

RBH No. 15 was approved on third and final reading last Tuesday.

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“Yung resolution ng Houses na yun, hanggang June 30 na lang ang buhay nun. So back to zero,” Sotto said in an interview over AM radio station DWIZ.

[The Resolution of Both Houses will last only until June 30. So it’s back to zero.]

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READ: House approves charter change

“Pero yung Con-Com, yung federal proposal ng constitutional commission [sic], ay buhay. Ibig sabihin kahit na sa next Congress kaya namin i-pick up,” he added.

[But the Con-Com federal proposal is alive. That means we can still pick it up even in the next Congress.]

Last July, the Consultative Committee (not constitutional commission as Sotto inadvertently called it) approved its final draft of a federal constitution, a “pro-poor” version that it submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Meanwhile, Malacañang called on Congress to listen to the former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who is the chairman of the Con-Com tasked to review the 1987 Constitution.

Puno also criticized RBH No. 15, calling it a “falsified federalism” that aimed for a unitary form of government.

READ: Palace to Congress: Listen to Puno, be open to amendments on draft charter

With this, Sotto advised the members of the Con-Com to set aside the House federal charter, noting that its life span would end by June 30, with elections set for May 2019.

‘Waste of time’

Sen. Franklin Drilon tagged the House approval of its federal charter as a “waste of time,” saying a number of resource persons said the current Constitution should not be amended.

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“Sa akin, yung kanilang ginawa ay waste of time,” Drilon said in another interview, also with DWIZ. “Sa usap-usapan namin sa komite, ang consensus ng mga resource persons ay ‘di dapat amyendahin ang Saligang Batas. Yan ang nakukuha naming pulso ng taong bayan sa aming committee hearings.”

[For me, what they’re doing is a waste of time. In our discussions in the committee, the consensus of resource persons is that the Constitution should be amended. That’s pulse of the people that we got during our committeee hearings.]

Drilon also noted that the Senate lacked of time to discuss provisions in the proposed federal charter.

“Wala na talagang panahon talakayain ang federal system,” he said. “Kung ang Kongreso naman ang tatalakay, wala namang nakalagay na bago kundi alisin ang term limits. Wala na wala. Waste of time to discuss that.”

[There’s really no time to tackle the federal system. If the House will take it up, there’s really nothing new there except removing term limits. It’s a waste of time to discuss that.] /atm

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TAGS: Charter change, consultative committee, federalism, Franklin Drilon, RBH No. 15, Resolution of Both Houses No. 15, Vicente Sotto III
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