In the Philippines, president orders senate to lead constitutional review of economic provisions

By Hana Bordey, 21 February
Flag of the Philippines (photo credit: pixabay)
Flag of the Philippines (photo credit: pixabay)
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on [21 February] vowed that the Senate will come up with the "best possible amendments" to the 1987 Constitution after President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ordered the chamber to lead Charter change (Cha-cha). [...] Zubiri issued the statement a day after Marcos said constitutional amendments should be done "without any fuss" in the midst of the word war between the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives over Cha-cha. [...] The Senate is currently deliberating on Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 that seeks to amend the constitutional provisions on public services, education, and advertising industry by adding the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law." RBH 6 was filed by Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Senator Sonny Angara after the Senate and the House leadership made an agreement before Marcos in January wherein the the Senate will lead the deliberations on the amendments to the 1987 Constitution as long as the people's initiative, which is believed to be supported by congressmen, including Speaker Martin Romualdez, will be stopped. But the alleged continuous signature gathering for the PI enraged the senators and resulted in a word war between members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. [...] However, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III noticed that there has "clearly been a change of heart" regarding Marcos' stand on constitutional amendments. "The President has made his position clear. He wants the 1987 Constitution amended. Although just a few months ago he said amending the Constitution was not one of his priorities. There has clearly been a change of heart," Pimentel said. While he pointed out that Marcos is not authorized by the Constitution to have a hand in amending the Charter, Pimentel said Marcos' recent statement should give a go signal to the lawmakers, who are authorized by the Charter to push for  amendments, to do so. "According to the President, the Senate 'takes the lead.' Those who support the President should therefore follow his directives: [L]et the Senate take the lead," Pimentel said. The Senate subcommittee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes led by Senator Sonny Angara has so far conducted three hearings on RBH 6.
Read the full article here: GMA


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