Marcos says Cha-cha ‘not a priority for me’

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 10:06 a.m.) — As some lawmakers pushed to amend the Constitution to ease what they called “restrictive” economic provisions, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Sunday afternoon that Charter change is not among his priorities.

Speaking to reporters onboard PR001 from his official visit to Japan, Marcos said the goals of those seeking to change the Constitution to allow for more foreign investments can be met without tweaking the fundamental law.

“We can achieve what we want, but within the present constitutional [framework,]  the way the Constitution is written,” Marcos said in Filipino as seen in a video posted on social media by The STAR newspaper.

The president also said there are a lot of other things that need to be done instead of Cha-cha. “There’s so many other things that we need to do first, that we can still do, we can achieve,” he said.

Political science professors from the University of the Philippines – Diliman had called on Marcos to make his position on Charter change known as they said all proposed constitutional revisions after the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. have been “executive-driven.”

But this new Cha-cha train has been largely driven by top lawmakers, including the president’s cousin, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Senate constitutional amendments panel chairperson Sen. Robin Padilla.

READ: Senate, House to push for economic Cha-cha — lawmaker

Despite Marcos’ pronouncement which would likely embolden a growing sentiment among senators against Cha-cha, Padilla said he is undeterred and would continue to push for the measure.

“As the president's senatorial candidate in UniTeam, I support all his priority legislation. That said, I will pursue my own advocacies, with or without the President's support, because that is my obligation to the people — and I will stay the course in the Senate, as part of our democracy,” Padilla said in a statement.

During the campaign season, Padilla often shared the stage with Uniteam senatorial bets although no offical announcement was made on his inclusion in the Marcos-Duterte slate.

EXPLAINER: The process of charter change

Tweaks to the Constitution have been pushed under every administration after President Corazon Aquino, including proposals to shift to a parliamentary form of government, but none of them have been successful so far mainly due to opposition sparked by insinuations that government officials are trying to keep themselves in power.

The president is the chairperson of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas which backs the creation of a federal state, has acknowledged that this is the major barrier to constitutional reform, even as he said that federalism best fits the country.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with