‘I would rather resign than set aside Cha-cha’

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
�I would rather resign than set aside Cha-cha�
Sen. Robin Padilla.
STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — While President Marcos has said that foreign investments can still come in without amending the Constitution, Sen. Robinhood Padilla said he would rather resign than set aside his efforts to tackle Charter change.

Padilla said he understood the President’s position on changing the 1987 Constitution, which was not within his mandate, and said he was elected as the No. 1 senator in the 2022 elections by the Filipino people with his advocacy to change the Constitution, particularly to initiate economic reform and change the form of government.

“When we say put it aside (the efforts to study the Constitution), let’s just resign because we are no longer useful there in the Senate,” Padilla said over radio dwIZ.

“When we have a proposal and that proposal is not heard in the four corners of the democracy of the Senate, let’s resign because what are we going to do there to grow the town? That’s it. It is not possible,” he said.

Padilla said during the 2022 senatorial campaign, he promised the people that his advocacy is about the Constitution and “that is what we are promoting, economic reform and the same as changing the form of government.”

“That’s why we understand what the President is saying because it’s not in his mandate. It is clear in the Constitution that the adjustment of the Constitution depends on the legislative, it will not fall to the office of the executive, in fact, the one who will ratify it is the people,” he added.

Padilla said the Senate committee of constitutional amendment, which he chairs, had a public consultation hearing and other hearings on the matter and might prepare a committee report.

“If they block it, it’s OK, no problem, I’m not being personal. I just want to explain to the people. Let’s put the economy first, that’s where the salary, work and food depend.”

“As long as we don’t fix the economy, we are Mr. Utang (debt). How much are our debts? We already owe P2 trillion in our budget of P5 trillion. If we believe in the 1987 Constitution, it’s OK,” he added.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III agreed with President Marcos that foreign investments can still come in without amending the Constitution, but stressed the future need to revisit its political provisions to improve the country’s system of governance.

“The President is correct to say that there are better things that need to be done first and that we can generate foreign investments without amending the Constitution,” he said.

“The proposal to change the economic provisions of the Constitution is not urgent at all as we have passed some economic liberalization laws,” Pimentel said, citing the Public Service Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Foreign Investment Act, among others.

However, Pimentel still believes that there is a need to revise the political provisions of the Constitution and reform the system of governance to, among others, reform the party-list system and provide more safeguards against political dynasties.

Pimentel has long advocated a shift in the country’s form of government to a parliamentary with a unicameral legislature. “The long-standing proposal to reform the country’s political system can wait in favor of more pressing issues.”

“What is more urgent now is to alleviate the struggles of ordinary Filipinos. If we can help them improve their daily lives, then we give them better chances in participating in the growing economy,” the senator said.

Pimentel said the government should maximize the recently enacted economic laws that aim to boost the nation’s economic recovery.

He called on the executive to finalize immediately the implementing rules and regulations of the Public Service Act, saying it does not have to wait for the Supreme Court to decide on the pending case against the law.  – Sheila Crisostomo

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