Drilon on bid to shorten senators’ term: It’s a ‘shame’ to even talk about it
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday opposed the resolution which seeks to extend the term of congressmen and other officials and shortening the term of senators.
“It’s a shame to even talk about it when we just opened the 18thCongress. Instead of diligently working on measures to uplift the lives of 25.2 percent of Filipinos living below the poverty line, you are talking about staying in power,” Drilon said in a statement.
Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez earlier filed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 1 which, among other concerns, lengthens the term of congressmen and local officials to four years. The term of senators, meanwhile, will be shortened to four years from the current six years but will be able to run for three consecutive terms.
Drilon explained that the move would require amending the Constitution, noting that doing so in the remaining years of the Duterte administration would have “zero chance of passing.”
“The proposal would require an amendment to the Constitution either through a constitutional convention or a constitutional assembly. A mere resolution cannot amend the Constitution,” Drilon said.
Under the Article XVII of the Constitution, “any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or a constitutional convention.”
Despite this, Drilon said that the minority bloc would oppose any move to amend the Constitution.
“We will oppose it. Instead of wasting the very limited time of Congress on Cha-cha, let us focus on the pressing problems like lack of jobs, hunger and poverty, which we can address through ordinary legislation,” Drilon said.
Other senators, such as Senate President Vicente Sotto III, had also opposed the move.
“[Constitutional] amendments din ‘yan eh. Bakit ba mainit sila sa Senate?” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
“At the rate some people are focusing on the Senate, senators will stonewall,” he added./ac
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