View Full Version : Lawmakers seeking revival of Cha-cha

01-11-2011, 01:53 PM
By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated January 10, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers are seeking to revive efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution after President Aquino declared that he would not be seeking reelection in 2016.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said Aquino’s announcement should be an impetus to Charter change (Cha-cha) advocates.

Critics are wary of such move since it might extend elective officials, including the President.

“I think this is the best time to start the national debate on Cha-cha,” Evardone said in a statement.

He said all present members of the Senate, the House of Representatives and local elected officials should not “benefit” from Cha-cha, particularly on extending their respective terms in office.

He proposed that any amendment should be done through a constitutional convention so as not to disrupt the legislative work of Congress.

“The constitutional convention should focus on economic provisions for investments and employment.”

He said among those supporting the revival of the campaign for Cha-cha are Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, Biliran Rep. Roger Espina, Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua, Marinduque Rep. Allan Velasco, Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos, and Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez.

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed in one of her first measures a resolution calling for Cha-cha through a constitutional convention.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier assured the public that measures on amending the Constitution would be deliberated on by lawmakers.

“It’s there and we do have a committee on constitutional amendments. I think that committee will tackle it,” Belmonte said.