Ar­royo de­nies rail­road­ing char­ter change res­o­lu­tion

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! - (Keith A. Calayag/Sun­Star Philip­pines)

HOUSE Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo has de­nied that the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives rail­roaded the pas­sage of the res­o­lu­tion sug­gest­ing amend­ments to the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion.

The Res­o­lu­tion of Both Houses No. 15 or the “Res­o­lu­tion of Both Houses Propos­ing the Re­vi­sion of the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines,” was passed on sec­ond read­ing dur­ing the ple­nary ses­sion Tues­day, De­cem­ber 4, just a week be­fore the Congress will ad­journ for the hol­i­days.

Its pas­sage came even af­ter the Se­nate said it would not sup­port the House’s pro­posed char­ter due to lack of time.

“Well, it’s part of the demo­cratic process. There was a de­bate, it was voted on, we sent it to them. It’s part of the demo­cratic process,” said Ar­royo in an am­bush in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 5.

Ac­cord­ing to Ar­royo, it will likely be passed on third read­ing on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 10. The Congress’ ses­sion will ad­journ for the Christ­mas break on De­cem­ber 12.

“We are able to pass it on sec­ond read­ing, so three days af­ter the copy is cir­cu­lated, we should be tak­ing it up on third read­ing, hope­fully that would be Mon­day,” she said.

Mi­nor­ity leader Danilo Suarez dur­ing the weekly press con­fer­ence of the House mi­nor­ity bloc said it is “high time” to re­visit the Con­sti­tu­tion but he also warned against the speedy pas­sage of the res­o­lu­tion.

He said the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives should look deeper into the pro­posal to de­ter­mine whether its pro­vi­sions are “sus­tain­able” and can stand firm as the coun­try con­tin­u­ously adapts to an evolv­ing world.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, Buhay Party-list Rep. and Se­nior Deputy Mi­nor­ity Leader Lito Atienza like­wise warned against the “inor­di­nate” pas­sage of the res­o­lu­tion.

“Mag­da­han-da­han tayo. There’s ab­so­lutely no rea­son to rush this very im­por­tant mea­sure that will im­pact all of us. Let us not be like blind cows be­ing stam­peded over a cliff,” he said.

Atienza said it is im­pos­si­ble to dis­cuss the “cru­cial” mea­sure in just a few ses­sion days left.

“To force the is­sue now would not only de­prive us time to tackle other im­por­tant mea­sures, but at the same time, this would sac­ri­fice qual­ity study on the re­vi­sions to the Con­sti­tu­tion,” Atienza fur­ther said, adding that the pub­lic should also be in­formed of the pro­posed char­ter through na­tional de­bates.

Gabriela Women’s Party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tives Emmi de Je­sus and Arlene Brosas strongly con­demned the “rail­roaded” ap­proval of Res­o­lu­tion of Both Houses No. 15 on sec­ond read­ing.

They noted that the pe­riod of de­bate for the mea­sure was cut short to en­sure its ap­proval Tues­day and ap­proval on third read­ing be­fore the Christ­mas break.

“We con­demn this stub­born in­sis­tence of the House lead­er­ship to ram Chacha into our throats de­spite the ob­vi­ous lack of pub­lic sup­port for the mea­sure and de­spite the need to leg­is­late ur­gent eco­nomic mea­sures such as sig­nif­i­cant wage hikes and re­peal of Train law,” said de Je­sus and Brosas in a joint state­ment.

For Gabriela, the pro­posed char­ter is “an­tidemo­cratic, dystopian, self-serv­ing and anti-na­tion­al­ist.”

“It re­moves the term lim­its for mem­bers of both Houses, pro­vides for a No-elec­tion tran­si­tion to a fed­eral form of gov­ern­ment, does not ban po­lit­i­cal dy­nas­ties, shifts the onus of pro­mot­ing hu­man rights from the State to in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zens, and broad­ens the pre­text for declar­ing mar­tial law by adding "law­less vi­o­lence" as le­gal ba­sis.

It re­moves con­sti­tu­tional lim­its to for­eign own­er­ship of land, mass me­dia, pub­lic util­i­ties and other eco­nomic sec­tors. It wa­ters down la­bor and women's rights, and cre­ates more el­bow room for cap­i­tal­ists to exploit hu­man and nat­u­ral re­sources,” they added as they call on the pub­lic to re­ject the pro­posed fed­eral con­sti­tu­tion.

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