Padilla mulls new Cha-cha bid with political, economic amendments

Padilla mulls new Cha-cha bid with political, economic amendments Featured

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robinhood Padilla is considering another Charter change (Cha-cha) bid, but this time with proposed amendments to the Constitution’s political and economic provisions.

Padilla, chairperson of the Senate’s panel on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, earlier filed Senate Resolution of Both Houses No. 5, proposing amendments strictly on specific political provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

But after hearing the opinion of some experts, Padilla said he is now “open” to filing another resolution, this time taking into consideration the fresh suggestions of several stakeholders.

Padilla presided over a hearing on RBH5 on Wednesday. Resource speakers during the hearing include former finance chief Margarito Teves, former Budget and Management secretary Romulo Neri, and Consumer Protection Advocacy Group chair Ricardo Penson.

“Dahil sa ganda ng ating talakayan, naisip naming pag-aralan ng committee ang rekomendasyon ng bawat isa patungkol sa mode of amendment ng konstitusyon. Open tayo sa posibilidad na maglabas po tayo ng bagong resolusyon patungkol dito,” said Padilla.

(Because of how well our discussion went, our committee has decided to study each other’s recommendations regarding the mode of amending the Constitution. We are open to releasing a new resolution on this matter.)

In an ambush interview after the hearing, Padilla was asked which amendments his “new” resolution would cover. He answered this by saying: “Pati political [provisions].” (Political provisions as well.)

“Yun ang sinasabi kanina ng guest natin. Babaguhin mo ang economic provision, iiwan mo naman ang political. Kumbaga, sa riles ng tren — kapag isa lang ang riles ay hindi tatakbo. Mas magandang dalawa, may sense eh,” said Padilla, adding that he was advised by his legislative staff to just pursue Cha-cha via constitutional convention.

(That’s what our guest was saying. You’ll amend the economic provision but leave behind political provisions. Imagine a railway; if there’s only one rail, then trains wouldn’t run. So it’s better if there’s two—it makes sense.)

The senator did not give a definite date when his new resolution would be filed, but he assured that it may be out by “next week.”

Experts’ side

During the panel’s hearing on Wednesday, Neri said he is in favor of amending the Constitution, but he suggested that it be made all at once.

“Ako, if we’re gonna change the Constitution [ay] palitan na lahat. Kasi ang daming problema. When I read it, sumakit ang ulo,” he said.

(For me, if we’re going to change the Constitution, let’s change it all because there are so many problems. I got a headache when I read it.)

Meanwhile, Teves admitted that he has yet to form a sound judgment on the proposals to amend the political provisions of the Constitution. Still, based on his “intuitive feeling,” he thinks he would also agree.

“Pero intuitive feeling lang — wala pang scientific o really thoughtful time devoted to it, ‘yung 6 years pwede na pero pwedeng extendable pa rin ‘yan. Kasi ako naman convinced din ako na wala dapat term limits, no? Kung sakaling meron man lang, siguro sa mataas na posisyon na. Siguro max na siguro ang 12 years kung sa Presidente, no?” said Teves.

(But it’s just an intuitive feeling — there’s no scientific or really thoughtful time devoted to it, but I think the 6 years is fine, but it can still be extended. I’m also convinced that there shouldn’t be term limits. Maybe a 12-year maximum is okay for the President, right?)

The Senate, through Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, is currently leading talks on economic Cha-cha.

This was made according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s request for the upper chamber to review the proposals to amend specific provisions of the Constitution.

Marcos said he saw the need to ease restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution to allow more foreign direct investment in the country.

Read 41 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2024 11:52
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