Senators reject Rep. Dalipe’s Cha-cha dare: ‘Who is he?’

Senators reject Rep. Dalipe’s Cha-cha dare: ‘Who is he?’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:40 PM February 07, 2024

PHOTO: Facade of the Senate of the Philippines building. STORY: Senators reject Rep. Dalipe’s Cha-cha dare: ‘Who is he?’

Facade of the Senate of the Philippines building. (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Senators rejected on Wednesday the challenge of House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe to make public their stand on the Charter change (Cha-cha) issue.

On Tuesday, Dalipe dared senators to say whether or not they are in favor of amending the Constitution so that voters could decide in 2025 whom they would want to reelect in the Senate.


“Who is he?” Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva asked in a message to reporters when sought for comment on Dalipe’s challenge.


Meanwhile, three senators — Sonny Angara, Christopher “Bong” Go, and Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel — questioned Dalipe’s remarks when there were still ongoing Cha-cha discussions in the Senate.

“How can senators lay down their positions when the hearings have just begun where we can listen to experts?” Angara said in Filipino.

“Isn’t that how laws are drafted — by first listening, then debating, and then voting? Especially when discussing the Constitution, I don’t think senators will rush their decision. They will think and listen first. I hope the HoR [House of Representatives] will do the same.”

READ: Keenly watching the Cha-cha train

Angara heads the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments formed to tackle a resolution seeking changes to specific economic provisions of the Constitution.


For his part, Go asked Dalipe to respect the individual stand of senators on this issue, saying they should not be forced to make a stand on the issue.

“Why would you compel the senator to speak? What would happen to the senator participating in the discussion? He would now become biased. Please respect the senators’ position on this matter,” Go said in Filipino in an interview with Senate reporters.

Go noted, however, that his position on the Charter change bid has always been to protect the Constitution, democracy, the Senate as an institution, and the free will and interests of the Filipino people.

Pimentel aired the same sentiments, saying the Senate would vote anyway on the Cha-cha issue at the proper time.

“At this stage that we are listening to ‘experts’ and other resource persons, we (the senators) should be allowed to keep an open mind. Otherwise, what is then the point of all these consultations if we have already made up our minds at this time?” he said.

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“It’s pointless because we will eventually get there in a formal, official way,” the senator added in a separate message to reporters.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have been at loggerheads over proposals to change the Constitution.

TAGS: charter change, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Senate

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