Cha-cha drive 'treacherous, divisive and unwise' - Hontiveros | Inquirer News

Cha-cha drive ‘treacherous, divisive and unwise’ – Hontiveros

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 12:28 PM January 18, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros strongly cautioned her colleagues on Thursday against pursuing any amendment to the 1987 Constitution.

In a statement, she warned that the Charter change journey “is treacherous, impractical, divisive, and unwise.”

“Why are we attempting to solve our economic problems by creating another problem?” Hontiveros asked.


“Cha-cha can be transformative, but NOT when it is triggered by multiple hidden agendas, power struggle, and in-group bickering,” she said.


She also echoed the question earlier raised by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

“Ano ang mayroon at bakit biglang gumugulong at ipinipilit sa taumbayan ang Charter change?” asked Hontiveros.

(What is the motivation, and why is Charter change suddenly being pushed and forced upon the public?)

A fresh bid to change the 1987 Constitution was launched in the Senate on Monday through a resolution filed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Senator Sonny Angara.

Their resolution, though, limits the proposed changes to economic provisions of the Constitution to liberalize ownership of public utilities, education institutions, and the advertising industry in the country.

Hontiveros, however, argued that opening these industries to 100 percent foreign ownership would only expose the country to security risks.


This would also weaken the national interests “in a time of global unrest,” she added.

Besides, the senator believes existing laws already address the ultimate goal of attracting more foreign investments to the country.

“So I am appealing to my colleagues in the Senate, let us move for more practical solutions that don’t involve creating bigger problems,” she said.

“Let us not get distracted by the shiny allure of Cha-cha when, beneath all the gloss, it will only trap us in a never-ending cycle of political maneuvering,” Hontiveros added.

Zubiri has repeatedly assured the public that no other amendments, except for particular economic provisions, would be introduced in the Senate-led Cha-cha initiative.

Proof of this commitment was his readiness to step down as Senate President in case the dreaded changes in political provisions were made in the Constitution.

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“I shall risk my leadership on that. No other motives whatsoever,” Zubiri told reporters in a Viber message.

TAGS: Cha-cha, Hontiveros

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