Lagman: Did Marcos give ‘covert consent’ to amending charter?
MANILA, Philippines — Given how quickly the House of Representatives was moving to make charter change [cha-cha] happen, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said he could not help but think that the chief executive had already given his “covert consent” to the initiative despite his having announced that amending the Constitution was not his priority.
Lagman raised this possibility in a statement issued on Tuesday, a day after the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments approved its report on a still unnumbered Resolution of Both Houses calling for a constitutional convention.
Just a little over a week earlier, Marcos himself said that charter change was not a priority of his administration.
“There must be an overwhelming furtive reason why the Cha-Cha caravan is rolling fast in the House of Representatives despite President Marcos’ avowal that Charter Change is not in his priority agenda,” Lagman, president of the opposition Liberal Party, said.
“It is not that members of the supermajority coalition have finally learned to be independent of the Executive. Perhaps, it is because the President must have given his covert assent to Cha-Cha even as he appears to be distancing himself from it,” he added.
INQUIRER.net asked the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) to comment on Lagman’s statement but has not received a reply as of posting time.
Before all these developments took place, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the president’s cousin, already said that amending the economic provisions of the Constitution could be the last piece of the puzzle that would ensure growth for the Philippines.
Romualdez said this while he was in Japan as part of Marcos’ delegation during a recent official visit there.
He said he had observed during several trips that there seemed to be something keeping foreign investors from putting their money into the Philippines. Eventually, he figured out that it was due to the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution.
This appeared to be a change in direction. In July 2022, he said that charter change was not a priority for the House.
Then Marcos made a surprising announcement. In an interview with reporters on his flight back from Japan to the Philippines, he said was not keen on pushing for charter change because many other things should be done first.
Marcos said that his administration could attract investments without amending the economic restrictions of the Constitution.
—WITH A REPORT FROM KIMBERLY ALBAÑO (TRAINEE)
House panel OKs resolution proposing a constitutional convention
Amending Constitution last piece of the puzzle for economic growth — Romualdez
Cha-cha not a priority, but we’re open to hear proposals — Romualdez
Charter change not needed to get foreign investments – Marcos
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