Palace to let Congress address Duterte’s concerns on party-list system
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday “deferred to the wisdom of Congress” on how it intends to address concerns raised by President Rodrigo Duterte about the country’s party-list system.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier bared that Duterte suggested changes in the constitutional provisions on the party-list system as he believes that those from the minority Makabayan bloc are “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
But some senators said it would be easier to amend the party-list law instead of introducing changes in the 1987 Constitution.
“We, of course, defer to the wisdom of Congress. Hindi naman po nagli-legislate ang Presidente [The President is not legislating]. If that is the solution of some senators, number one, of course it has legal basis; number two it would still depend on them,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Vice President Leni Robredo earlier said the “abuses” in the party-list system should be addressed but not through a “dangerous” approach of changing the Constitution. She also called the revived push for Charter change (Cha-cha) as ill-timed as the country still grapples with the coronavirus pandemic
“Dapat iyong solusyon natin sasagot kung bakit nagkakaganito—hindi iyong papadaanin sa isang bagay na i-oopen up mo iyong pagbago ng Konstitusyon, na napakadelikado saka wrong timing pa,” Robredo said Sunday in her weekly radio program.
(Our solution should be addressing why these things are happening and not through ways that you need to open up changes in the Constitution, which is dangerous and wrong timing.)
The party-list system was enacted in 1995 to provide the marginalized and underrepresented sectors a voice in Congress. However, the party-list system has long been criticized for supposedly being “abused” by politicians to stay in power.
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