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House leaders forced to drop Charter change resolution

MANILA, Philippines - With senators firmly against Charter change (Cha-cha) under the current administration, the House leadership is left with no choice but to defer discussions on the issue, according to Speaker Prospero Nograles.

“I don’t want to waste time debating here in the House on a measure which the Senate would not act upon. It’s a waste of time,” Nograles told reporters. “We’d like to tackle that (constitutional convention bill) pero mukhang ayaw naman nila ipagpatuloy (but it seems they don’t want to continue.”

The House leader also brushed aside proposals for the holding of a special session, saying most government officials have already firmed up their schedules for the campaign.

“I don’t know what else we need to tackle that we will call back all the congressmen who are now practically campaigning. And technically, there is no premature campaigning. It might be difficult to call a quorum,” Nograles pointed out.

“So, it’s very difficult to stop the momentum and the concentration that we are having,” Nograles, a last-term congressman who is seeking the mayoralty post in Davao City, stressed.

Senators, some of whom are running for president in the coming elections, have voiced opposition to reopening Charter change debates at this time.

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President Arroyo, who is running for congresswoman in the second district of her hometown in Pampanga, reportedly wants Cha-cha to prosper so she can become prime minister, in case she gets elected as speaker by her future House peers.   – Delon Porcalla

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