‘Doomed:’ Minority senators reject House reso on Cha-cha
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the Senate minority bloc rejected a recently approved House resolution amending the Constitution with one senator saying that the move to change the charter (Cha-cha) is “doomed.”
“If the House of Representatives would insist on passing Cha-cha, make it a point to include their return address, because the Senate and the Filipino people will not accept it,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said in a statement on Friday.
“Our counterparts in the lower house have the fighting spirit of a Filipino athlete. I do not want to dampen their spirit, but their Cha-cha is doomed,” he added.
Last week, a resolution was approved by the House committee on constitutional amendments in a closed-door meeting.
The resolution proposes, among others, to extend the term of the congressmen and local government officials from the current three years to five years, and to add the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” on economic provisions in the Constitution.
The senator said the proposal to amend the Constitution is not a priority in the upper chamber, echoing the statement earlier made by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“Apparently, the message was lost on the members of the House of Representatives. I had said it before and I will say it once more, Cha-cha is dead,” Drilon said.
Drilon said it was a self-serving move on the part of the House members to propose an extension of their term.
“The term extension is ill-conceived. It extinguishes all the good intentions they may have in mind in pushing for Cha-cha. We will oppose it,” he added.
‘Dead in the water’
“I’m confident, bilang bahagi ng (as a member of the) Senate minority…that if ever sent here, (it will) arrive dead in the water,” Senator Risa Hontiveros told reporters in an interview.
Earlier Senate President Vicente Sotto III himself said that amending the constitution is not among the priorities of the Senate.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, said that the House resolution was “at best, half of the story.”
“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 in a statement.
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