Drilon welcomes non-mention of Cha-cha in Sona
MANILA, Philippines – The skipped discussions on charter change and federalism during President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address indicates that its proponents should no longer push for its approval, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.
“Hindi niya po binanggit ang cha-cha. Walang binaggit kahapon eh. So ibig sabihin wala sa legislative agenda ng Malacañang yo’ng pagbabago ng Saligang Batas (Cha-cha was not mentioned in the Sona. So it means that it is not in Malacanang’s legislative agenda),” Drilon said in an interview with dzMM on Tuesday.
‘Don’t push it’
“Hindi niya binanggit kahapon kaya ‘yan siguro ay senyales na wag nang ipilit nung mga may ibang balak na baguhin ang Saligang Batas lalo na po sa mga kongresista na ibig habaan ang kanilang termino, ay siguro tumigil na sila (He did not mention it, so perhaps it is a sign that those backing charter change should not pursue the same, especially congressmen keen on extending their terms),” he added.
When Duterte addressed members of Congress—most of whom are his allies—he did not mention Cha-cha or federalism.
“Sabi ko nga yung hindi narinig ang nakakatuwa at yung pagbabago ng Saligang Batas hindi nabanggit,” Drilon said.
‘Not the right time’
In an interview with reporters after he delivered his Sona on Monday the President said it was “not the proper time” to discuss Cha-cha or federalism.
Drilon said this statement from the President “only confirms my impression na [dahil] hindi binaggit sa Sona ay hindi na priority para sa Malacañang.”
Duterte had earlier said that federalism, which he has been pushing for since he ran for president in 2016, would bring lasting peace in the country and prosperity, particularly to conflict-stricken Mindanao. /gsg
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