Rodriguez wants to ‘shelve cha-cha indefinitely’ in House amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Amid reports of a continued push for charter change (cha-cha) despite the coronavirus pandemic, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez proposed Thursday for deliberations on the controversial issue be suspended in the House of Representatives for now.
Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, said that he would make the recommendation to “shelve Cha-Cha indefinitely” to put the focus of the lower chamber to the pandemic.
“I am inclined to recommend to the Speaker that we shelve Cha-cha indefinitely so we can focus on measures to fight this pandemic, help our affected people, and prepare the nation for post-lockdown and post-coronavirus disease, or the new-normal life,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
The lawmaker believes that Cayetano would favor his recommendation “since he has repeatedly declared that he wants us to work on COVID-19-related measures without any divisive issue distracting us.”
Rodriguez made the proposal after the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reportedly directed its regional offices and supporters to continue gathering up to 2 million signatures in support of Cha-Cha.
The solon said this is not the time for DILG and its allies to relaunch their signature drive and push for Cha-Cha, saying such efforts is only a “waste of time, effort, and money.”
“They should postpone it until this health crisis is over,” Rodriguez said.
“We will not act on Cha-cha while our people are suffering and are in danger of getting infected by the coronavirus,” the lawmaker added.
Rodriguez, likewise, has one message to Cha-cha advocates and their DILG patrons: “Stop it, it won’t fly while there is a pandemic.”
“Cha-cha can wait. We will first have to attend to measures that will save lives and the livelihood of our people,” Rodriguez said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has denied such reports and even labelled it as “fake news.”
However, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which released the news, stood by its report.
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