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Cha-cha proposal draws varied reactions from Senate

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A proposal from the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution drew varied reactions among the senators with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile supporting it while others said it is too early to change the 1987 Charter.

"I'm open to that Constitutional amendments. There were some wrong provisions which have been included in the (1987) Constitution and It is time to correct and revise that," Enrile said.

Enrile said among the amendments that should be done must include the limitation of the foreign ownership of the businesses in the country.

For his part, Senator Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan said the Legislative and Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) as well as the Judiciary, Executive and Legislative Advisory Council (JELAC) should meet first before pushing any Constitutional amendments.

"I think it is not the right time yet to discuss again the amendments of the Constitutions due to bad experience of the proposal in the past administration," Honasan said.

Honasan said the proposal might again draw suspicion and doubts from the public that the government has bad intention despite the popular and high rating being enjoyed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero urged the congressmen led by Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone who are pushing for the Charter change to clarify first the provisions of the Constitution that they want to amend.

Escudero said the Constitutional amendments should be done only on the first two years of the Aquino administration.

Senator Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan also believe that it is not yet time to amend the Constitution, saying what the country need is the political will and genuine leadership to solve the pressing problems including poverty.

"We should not look at Cha-Cha as the magic wand that will solve our country's problems," Pangilinan said.

"We are still struggling to implement our laws as they are, what makes them think that when a new set of laws under a new Constitution is put in place, these new laws will then be effectively and fully implemented?" he said.

Pangilinan said changing the Constitution "does not guarantee anything."

"In the end, what we need is determined and effective leadership that will vigorously implement our laws in full, without fear or favor," he said. (PNA/PAI9-BST)




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