Lawmaker vows to revive Cha-cha in next Congress-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
MANILA -- A chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments vowed on Tuesday to pursue amendments to the 1987 Constitution in the next Congress, hoping that Malacañang had changed its position by then.
The present 15th Congress has only nine session days to tackle pending bills and resolutions. On January 21, Congress will resume session but will adjourn again from February 9 to June 2 to give way to the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections.
Misamis Occidental Representative Loreto Leo Ocampos, chairman of the House panel, hopes that the “changing socio-economic dynamics” can persuade President Benigno Aquino III to change his position on Charter change (Cha-cha).
Maguindanao Representative Simeon Datumanong backed the position of Ocampos and urged House and Senate leaders to continue persuading President Aquino to pursue Cha-cha.
“There will be ample time in the next Congress and the President may favor it by then,” Datumanong said.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. himself has repeatedly said that he is in favor of Cha-cha.
For his part, Akbayan party-list Representative Walden Bello doubted that Aquino will consider Cha-cha in the 16th Congress, saying economic progress depends on the administration’s good governance.
“I doubt if the Constitution will be amended during the 16th Congress since the President does not consider it a priority, and the President's opinion weighs a lot. I think that more than constitutional provisions on nationality and property ownership, he believes good governance is the key to attracting foreign investment,” Bello noted.
The Akbayan party-list is a close ally of the Aquino administration.
In a hearing last year, Ocampos’ panel discussed eight possible revisions in the Charter, which include the scrapping of the 60 to 40 percent equity limitations, and extending the 25 + 25 land lease agreement. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)