Pro-Charter change Dela Rosa may change mind if revisions involve political provisions
MANILA, Philippines — If proposed constitutional amendments touch on political provisions such as term extension, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa might join the majority and withdraw his support for the move to revise the 1987 Constitution.
Dela Rosa, who is among few advocates for constitutional reform in the upper chamber, was asked on Wednesday about what may get him to pull out his support for Charter change (Cha-cha).
“Kapag nakita ko na talagang imposibleng ma-limit iyan to economic amendments…Meron at meron silang ipapasok na amendments to the political provisions of the Constitution like term extension or whatever, that will discourage me,” he told reporters.
(When I see that it’s impossible to limit it to economic amendments…and that they will still push for amendments to the political provisions of the Constitution like term extension or whatever, that will discourage me.)
“Sabi ko nga, if magiging exercise in futility ito dahil nga hindi kami makakuha ng numbers, I might as well go with the majority. Pwede akong pumunta doon…I can go with the majority kapag nakita ko na sayang effort natin dito kung walang mangyari dito. Doon nalang tayo sa kasamahan natin,” he added.
(As I said, if it will be an exercise in futility because we won’t be able to secure enough numbers, I might as well go with the majority. I can go there…I can go with the majority when I see that our efforts are being wasted since nothing will happen here. I’ll go to where our colleagues are instead.)
But dela Rosa pointed out that since he and Senator Francis Tolentino filed in the previous Congress a proposal to amend or revise economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution, it may seem like he’s too quick at changing his mind.
The legislator further said the move to change the Charter to adopt a unicameral system–a single-chamber legislative setup–will likely push senators further away from the bid for constitutional reform.
Earlier, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said there are not enough numbers in the upper chamber to boost the Cha-cha push and bring it closer to fruition.
Despite this, Senator Robin Padilla, who is the main proponent of constitutional reform in the Senate, remained hopeful that he could encourage more of his colleagues to join his Charter change train once it is discussed at the plenary.
Padilla and dela Rosa will be in Cebu City on Thursday, March 16, to conduct a public consultation on the move to change the 36-year-old Charter.