Belmonte: MVP group not sole beneficiary of Cha-cha

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE House leadership on Thursday dismissed the allegations that businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) and his Metro Pacific Investments Corporation are the primary beneficiaries of the proposed changes to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

"I don't really see why he (Pangilinan) should be singled out and say dito makikinabang siya. I foresee maraming mag-ooppose sa Cha-cha (Charter change). In fact, ang mga businessmen na nag-aagree. If you already owned so much why is it matter whether may papasok na konti rito o wala," Belmonte said.

The Pangilinan-led company has interests in the telecommunications, transportation and energy sectors.


Belmonte said that he will try to convince all House lawmakers to support the Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, which will insert the phrase "Unless Provided by Law" in the economic provisions of the 27-year-old Constitution.

With only few more days left before the Congress take a recess, Belmonte said that he will use their upcoming break and try to talk and convince all the legislators for them to support the Cha-Cha proposal.

Belmonte said that he will talk to leaders of the minority bloc despite their earlier opposition on the process but added that Cha-Cha "is still a long way."

"It is not as if tomorrow yari na or anything like that and it is my contention that a all of us whether we are pro or against we should welcome a chance to discuss our 27, 28 year old constitution," Belmonte said.

Meanwhile, militant lawmakers led by Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares accused Belmonte of "railroading" the process, adding that no less than President Benigno Aquino III is the one really behind the recent measure.

"In a matter of two weeks, the Constitutional Amendment committee held marathon hearings and finished the committee report. It is with this hyper fast tracking of Cha-cha that fuels the argument that it is indeed greased by hidden pork," Colmenares said.

The leader of the Makabayan bloc believed that Cha-cha would not move this fast without the support of Malacanang.

"They [Administration lawmakers and the Palace] may deny this to high heavens but action speaks louder than words as can be seen in this case, especially since the philosophy of Cha-cha proponents to open up the economy to foreigners is no different from the economic strategy of Malacanang. In fact Cha-cha bolsters Malacanang's efforts to sell the country to transnational corporations," said the senior deputy minority leader. (Sunnex)

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