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Lacson: House reso on term extension a no-go without Senate concurrence

/ 01:45 PM December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Without Senate concurrence, “no determined efforts” by members of the House of Representatives “will bring to reality new provisions of the 1987 Constitution.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Friday when sought for his comment on the passage of a House resolution relaxing the economic restrictions in the 1987 Constitution and extending the terms of local government officials, congressmen and senators.

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“It is at best, half of the story,” Lacson told reporters in a text message.

“Being bicameral, without the Senate agreeing to amending the Charter via a constituent assembly, no amount of determined efforts by the House members will bring to reality new provisions of the 1987 Constitution, whether economic or political,” he said.

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The House constitutional amendments committee earlier approved during an executive meeting Wednesday afternoon.

At a press conference on Thursday, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the passage of the resolution is a “a very dangerous action.”

“Lalabas nito, this is a Cha-cha (This, in effect, is Charter change) by legislation. Hindi naman ito nakalagay sa ating Saligang Batas (This is not allowed under our Constitution),” he added as they vowed that the Makabayan bloc would oppose this before the plenary discussions.

The resolution seeks to extend the terms of local government officials, congressmen and senators to five years and three terms.

At present, a senator can serve for six years and run for two consecutive times, while congressmen and local elected officials can serve for three years and three consecutive terms.

The resolution also provides the election of the President and Vice President in tandem, as well as increasing the number of senators from 12 to 27, or three per region.

The nine regions were identified as the National Capital Region, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

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House committee on constitutional amendments chairperson Rufus Rodriguez defended the panel’s “discreet” approval of the resolution.

“It is an executive session because there are no more officials that are invited. We have heard all of them already,” Rodriguez said, referring to the Makabayan bloc.

“Wala kaming tinatago (We are not hiding anything). In fact, six of the Makabayan bloc were there,” Rodriguez added.

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TAGS: congressmen, House of Representatives, Local news, Nation, news, Philippine news update, resolution, Senate, senators, terms
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