January 6, 2010
MANILA, Philippines–A senator on Wednesday appealed to the House of Representatives to finally drop all efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying this would only intensify the current political tension in the country.
“I’m appealing anew to my fellow legislators especially in Congress to finally drop all efforts to amend the country’s charter because any Charter change move at this time and particularly within the last session days of this 14th Congress would be divisive and a waste of time and of taxpayer’s money,” Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in a statement.
Estrada was reacting to reports that the House of Representatives leadership will make the final bid for Charter change during Congress’ remaining three weeks of session from January 18 to February 5.
Instead of Charter change, Estrada said, Congress’ focus should be on issues greatly affecting the Filipinos.
“What we should focus on are measures that could help our countrymen recover from the effects of the recent calamities, tragic accidents, the global financial crisis and specially the slump in our country’s economy and finances,” Estrada said.
“Our people have spoken. They have already declared their rejection of Charter change. We must heed their voice,” he further said.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said this move will not prosper because the Senate will not agree to any amendment to the constitution.
“They won’t find any Malacañang lapdogs in the Senate who is willing to jump and bark just to please the masters by the Pasig River,” Pangilinan said in a text message.
“With elections just a few months away, now is not the time and more significantly, Arroyo is not the leader we can trust to push for Charter change,” he said.
Panglinan said the Arroyo administration, on its way out the door, could not be trusted to amend the Constitution with the nation’s interest in mind.
“They only think of their own interest. The people will not get anything from this good for nothing Charter change,” the Senator added.
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