Minority Floor leader of the Senate Franklin Drilon said the latest push for charter-change (cha-cha) of the House of Representatives will not be moved as the proposed term extension for lawmakers further jeopardized the move. 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III firstly stated that cha-cha was not Senate’s priority, although members will still study the House resolution once the measure is sent to them.

“The House can do whatever it wants and then perhaps if they decide on something, then they can transmit it to us, and then we can talk about it if it’s transmitted to us,” Sotto told reporters.

However, Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa said he was open to amending the Constitution to pave the way for the shift to a federal form of government.

But still, Drilon added that House members should not expect Cha-cha to progress in the upper chamber, noting Sotto’s remark that the measure is not their priority. 

“Our counterparts in the lower house have the fighting spirit of a Filipino athlete. I do not want to dampen their spirit, but their Cha-cha is doomed,” Drilon said in a statement.

‘Term extension ruined it’

Drilon mentioned that the proposed term extensions for House and Senate members put the measure at risk. 

“The term extension is ill-conceived. It extinguishes all the good intentions they may have in mind in pushing for Cha-cha. We will oppose it,” he said.

Moreover, Sen. Risa Hontiveros believed that the House measure would only be seen “dead in the water” in the Senate, as the proposals came only two years before Duterte’s term ends

According to Hontiveros, there was no such “Resolution of Both Houses,” which was the one approved by the House.

She also noted that Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a member of the minority, chairs the committee on constitutional amendments.

She said that while Akbayan favors looking for the best form of government for the Philippines, she does not favor the Cha-cha project of President Duterte’s allies because “there were too many self-serving interests included.”

If the Constitution would be amended, she would prefer a constitutional convention as it was more participatory compared to a constituent assembly.


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