House leader: Cha-cha won't happen under Aquino-A A +A
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A RANKING leader of the House of Representatives on Tuesday said it is unlikely that Charter change (Cha-cha) will push through under the Aquino administration.
"If you're going to ask me, wala na 'yan, while I find it very laudable to amend economic provisions of the Constitution and I was one of those who initially supported it," Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, a stalwart of the Liberal Party, said in a press briefing.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said that proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution could be approved as early as the first quarter of this year.
But Gonzales said that while Congress only wants to focus on amending the economic provisions of the Charter, pressing for Cha-cha will only court controversy as the term of President Benigno Aquino III will end in 2016.
"Habang palapit na ang pagtapos ng term ng presidente, pahirap ng pahirap yan. The president has always been against it and any change in the mind of the president at this time might be a source of intrigue that there's another gimmick," Gonzales said.
Gonzales said critics of President Aquino may use Cha-cha as a "scare tactic" in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Gonzales said House leaders would have wanted to push Cha-cha during the first year of President Aquino's term to remove any doubt that the chief executive will seek a term extension.
President Aquino himself, however, has opposed proposals to amend the Charter. (Sunnex)