Lawmakers urge to sign pledge before proceeding with Cha-cha process

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Friday, March 7, 2014

TO REMOVE all the doubts surrounding the insistent move for Charter Change, a party-list lawmaker called his fellow legislators in the House of Representatives to sign a pledge before the Filipino people that only the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be amended.

A week before the Congress takes a recess, Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza has initiated a signature campaign through House Resolution 864 that urged members of the chamber to sign a pledge to the Filipino people that the legislators "will focus only on the economic provisions as we move towards amending the Philippine Constitution."

"There are concerns that the amendments will not only change the economic provisions, but also touch on the political provisions," Atienza said.

The former Manila Mayor noted that the political provisions being most feared by some are the extension of the terms of government officials and the lifting of term limits.

Atienza said that his move for a signed-pledge to be made by members of Congress is designed to assured the people that there are no underhanded tactics to amend the political provisions in the present charter.

Even as moves to the contrary have been referred to the appropriate House committee, like the resolutions filed by party-list groups opposing charter change, the House Constitutional amendments panel is currently conducting a series of public consultations on the need to amend the restrictive provisions of the Charter, especially in terms of allowing more foreign ownership within the country..

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. is principal author of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 1 which calls for the removal of the restrictive provisions of the Constitutions by just adding the phrase "Unless Otherwise Provided by Law."

Atienza together with other members of the independent minority bloc vocally supports Belmonte’s Economic Cha-cha. (Sunnex)

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