SPEAKER HAILED ON CHA-CHA
• August 30, 2014
• Written by Jester P. Manalastas
• Published in Nation
TWO lawmakers from the House independent minority group have lauded Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. for keeping his promise not to touch the political provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza both said that political Charter Change might divide the nation, resulting in more conflicts.
The House of Representatives has started deliberating on the economic Cha-cha in the plenary without touching the political provisions.
Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice has said he will file a resolution seeking to amend the political provisions particularly the term limits of elective officials in order to allow President Benigno Aquino to either seek re-election or extend his term.
Both Romualdez and Atienza expressed opposition to this political Cha-cha and vowed to support only the resolution filed by Belmonte on amending the economic provisions.
“I commend House Speaker Sonny Belmonte for his firm commitment that the House will not touch the political provisions of the 1987 Constitution once we tackle proposed amendments to the economic provisions,” Atienza said.
Six months ago, Atienza prepared a resolution pledging that only the economic provisions of the Constitution will be touched.
All members of the Independent Minority Bloc signed the resolution along with some members of the ruling majority. Those who committed and signed the pledge said that they will resign if any amendments to the political provisions are approved.
“I am confident that any tinkering with the political provisions of the Constitution will not pass especially with Speaker Belmonte standing by his word,” Atienza added.
For his part, Romualdez cautioned allies of Aquino against dividing the nation in their bid to push political Cha-cha.
“In and out of Congress, we will fight any and all attempts to amend the Constitution to give President Aquino a second term. We simply cannot see any justification for it,” Romualdez said. He said the government should focus more on resolving the pressing problems of the country such as high unemployment rate, high prices of rice and other basic commodities, the traffic mess and others.