MANILA, Philippines – Senator Robin Padilla seemed to have accepted the unfortunate fate of his push to amend the 1987 Constitution in the Senate, but vowed that he would try to file a similar bill in the future.
“Siyempre, may kaunting kalungkutan pero hindi naman iyon nababalot ng kasawian sapagkat, naniniwala naman tayo na tayo ay nagtrabaho,” Padilla told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday, March 30.
(Of course, I am saddened, but it doesn’t mean defeat because, I believe, that I’m working.)
“Hindi po tayo susuko. Syempre, hanggang doon na lang po tayo kapag nagawa na natin ang committee report… Hindi ito makakarating sa plenaryo” he said, when asked if he has accepted the fate of his push for Charter Change in the Senate.
(I am not backing down. Of course, we already drafted the committee report. It will not reach the plenary.)
Padilla, who is the chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, made public his committee report on Friday, March 31, with only his signature so far.
The proposed amendments on economic provisions are focused on development and use of natural resources, private corporations’ ownership of alienable lands, participation of foreign investors in governing public utility enterprise, ownership of public educational institutions, ownership of mass media, and the likes.
The report needs at least nine signatures from senators for it to reach the plenary.
In the briefing, the senator said that the only signatures he could get for the report are from his party mates, PDP-Laban Senators Ronald Dela Rosa, Christopher Go, and Francis Tolentino.
The neophyte senator said that he respects the decision of his fellow senators, but he would try to revive talks on Cha-Cha again in the future.
“Ang kailangan naman sa laban na ito ay tuluy-tuloy…. Siguro sa susunod na taon, uulitin natin ito. Baka sakali, iba na ang ihip ng hangin,” he said.
(What we need in this fight is to continue it. Maybe, next year, we will do this again. By that time, I hope, it favors us.)
Last week, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri schooled Padilla over the neophyte’s senator insistence on inviting House lawmakers as resource speaker to Senate hearing on Cha-Cha. (READ: Zubiri schools ‘neophyte’ Padilla over canceled Cha-Cha hearing)
Zubiri explained, “Traditionally, the Senate does not invite incumbent members of Congress as resource persons, as they are accorded parliamentary courtesy, being members of coequal branch of legislation.”
The public exchange between Zubiri and Padilla was the latest display of disagreement at the Senate over Cha-Cha.
While a constitutional convention (Con-Con) bill hurdled the House through an overwhelming majority of 301-7, Zubiri earlier told ABS-CBN News that a similar measure will fail at the Senate, as it will need the votes of three-fourths of the chamber, or at least 18 senators. – Rappler.com
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