Pimentel: Charter change not in the hands of President
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III made things clear: The stance of the President on amending or revising the 1987 Constitution should bear no weight in the Charter change bid of Congress.
Pimentel echoed the sentiment of Sen. Robin Padilla, chair of the chamber’s panel on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, who said that the decision on whether or not to tweak the Charter is not within the President’s power.
READ: Padilla to Marcos on Cha-cha economic provisions: ‘I’m sorry, it’s not within your power’
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had earlier said that amending the Constitution was not among his administration’s priorities as he argued that “there are so many other things that we need to do first.”
“Sa amending or changing the Constitution, ang desisyon na iyan–wala sa kamay ng executive branch. Nasa legislators iyan as representatives of the people…We will not consider the stand of the President or the executive branch,” he told reporters in a virtual interview.
(In amending or changing the Constitution, that decision is not in the hands of the executive branch. That’s the responsibility of the legislators as representatives of the people…We will not consider the stand of the President or the executive branch.)
The senator also called on Senate President Miguel Zubiri not to allow Marcos’ opinion on Charter change to affect the upper chamber’s push for constitutional amendments, noting that the President should play no role in the process.
“Dapat kami-kami na lang ang nag-de-decide noon. Huwag na namin i-link sa position ng Presidente, because this is not a mere law,” he said.
(We should decide on this among ourselves. We should not link it to the position of the President, because this is not a mere law.)
The House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved in its third and final reading the Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which calls for a “hybrid” constitutional convention to amend or revise the Charter.
While the final approval of RBH No. 6 sped through the lower chamber, Pimentel said there was no “excitement” about the push for Charter change in the Senate.
He, however, pointed out that he is open to “substantive” constitutional amendments.
Citing the position of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan, Pimentel said he is willing to push for federalism, anti-political dynasty and unicameral system through Charter change. — with reports from Denver Godezano, INQUIRER.net trainee
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