Belmonte goes all out to protect his Charter change resolution | Inquirer News

Belmonte goes all out to protect his Charter change resolution

/ 03:46 PM August 19, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) vice president Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. vowed to block moves to amend his resolution that seeks to ease a provision in the Charter that restricts foreign investments in the country even if it means going against the party chairman President Benigno Aquino III.

feliciano belmonte

House speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr. FILE PHOTO/HOTARU NIITSU

In a text message on Tuesday, Belmonte said he would make sure that the sponsors of his resolution would reject any amendments to extend the term limits of public officials, including the President.

The Charter change resolution reached the plenary after it hurdled the committee level in March this year.


“We will stick to the economic (provisions),” Belmonte said in a text message.


The idea of amending the term limits provision in the Charter floated when Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said he wants to file a bill seeking to allow President Aquino, who he calls a “sincere” and “honest” leader, a chance for reelection in 2016.

But political amendments may be inserted into Belmonte’s resolution once it is open to the floor for the period of amendments, Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

“Nobody can stop anybody from proposing individual amendments,” said Gonzales, an LP stalwart.
But Belmonte, a high-ranking LP official, said “it is hard to limit the lifting of the term limits to the President.”

Asked how he will prevent such amendments to his resolution, Belmonte said the sponsors of his bill “will reject [them].”

Belmonte had been consistent in opposing political amendments to the Charter, even signing a waiver prepared by Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza not to allow amendments to the Charter’s term limits.

But the House leadership was caught by surprise when Aquino, in a televised speech, said he is now open to amending the Constitution even when the latter has been opposing Belmonte’s proposed amendment to economic provisions in the Charter.


Aquino said he is open to Charter change only to clip the powers of the Supreme Court, which has collided with the executive over its decision to scrap some practices of Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

But when asked about his being open to second term, Aquino only said he has to listen to the clamor of his “bosses” (the people).

Aquino made the surprise move of being open to Charter change even as the Constitution was drafted under the presidency of his late mother Corazon Aquino after she had toppled the Marcos regime.

Moves to amend the Charter had failed in the House as it was seen as a political tool to extend the term limits of officials.


LP to launch Charter change initiative on term limits 

Aquino won’t push Charter change during his term—Palace

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