charter change

‘Walang gamot sa kakapalan ng mukha’: Cha-Cha movement deepens feud vs Martin, Imee

Kaycee Valmonte

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‘Walang gamot sa kakapalan ng mukha’: Cha-Cha movement deepens feud vs Martin, Imee

PROTEST. Progressive groups opposed to charter change picket the gates of the House of Representatives on January 22, 2024, to protest the alleged use of public funds for collecting signatures for the People’s Initiative.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

Could a family feud be brewing because of charter change?

When you work in the same space as your relatives, it seems inevitable for work-related issues to seep into your personal life.

And it can be a lot more complicated if you are government officials with different political alliances, as disagreements can become very public. Take the case of cousins Senator Imee Marcos and Speaker Martin Romualdez. Under friendlier circumstances, they would have just called or sent text messages to each other if they wanted to iron out their differences.

During a Senate probe into the suspended people’s initiative on Tuesday, January 30, Marcos had cutting words for a specific personality she did not have to name.

Ang sinuman ang nagsabi na walang pake ang Senado sa usaping ito [people’s initiative for charter change], isa lang ang masasabi ko – walang gamot sa kakapalan ng mukha mo,” Senator Imee Marcos said.

(Whoever said that the Senate should not care about this, I only have this to say to you – there’s no cure for your shamelessness.)

The senator was apparently referring to Romualdez, who had earlier told off senators for looking into the people’s initiative instead of concentrating on their jobs. Romualdez even alleged that the upper chamber had asked for an extension to finish going through priority bills.

Days before Marcos’ rant, Romualdez urged the Senate to “focus on [their] work and stop hitting on Congress.”

‘Wag nang ma-distract dito sa PI, wala kayong pakialam sa PI. ‘Yung PI, trabaho na ‘yan ng taumbayan…. Trabahuhin natin ‘yung legislation – PI, hindi ‘yan legislation,” Romualdez said in a surprise press conference on Friday, January 26.

(Don’t get distracted with the PI, you have nothing to do with the PI. The PI is the public’s job…. Let’s work on legislation – the PI is not legislation.)

‘Walang gamot sa kakapalan ng mukha’: Cha-Cha movement deepens feud vs Martin, Imee

On Tuesday, Romualdez shot back at Marcos, saying her statement that day “reflects a passionate stance on issues we both care deeply about.” However, he asked the senator to address and deal with differing opinions with respect.

Hindi po kailangan ng bastusan (There’s no need to be rude),” Romualdez said, quickly responding to Marcos’ statement.

“I am open to engaging in meaningful discussions with Senator Marcos to address any concerns and work together for the betterment of our country.”

Marcos had earlier sided with former president Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Sara Duterte in their tiff with the Romualdez-led House. She also admitted in a media interview earlier in January that Romualdez had been upset with her since October last year because of this.

Marcos had also previously accused Romualdez’s office of offering P20 million to every district for the people’s initiative, but the Speaker dismissed the accusation as “baseless.”

Senators last week released a manifesto rejecting what they called the “brazen attempt to violate the Constitution, our country, and our people.” The Senate is worried about being overpowered by the 315-member House of Representatives as their 24 votes would be diluted come voting. (READ: Senate, House joint resolution on Cha-Cha now suspended, says Pimentel)

In their view, the petition for charter change is not a genuine public movement and is allegedly orchestrated by the lower chamber, which Romualdez denied.

Amid questions surrounding the people’s initiative, the Commission on Elections decided to stop proceedings related to charter change. –


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  1. EJ

    Hindi lang kapal ng mukha ang pinag-uusapan or involved dyan. What about pagiging ganid sa Pera Ng Bayan at Kapangyarihan?

  2. ET

    After the “drug addiction” word war, here comes the “shamelessness” word war. What will come next? Word war on loyalty and betrayal?

  3. ET

    Unfortunately, I’m not convinced there is no cure for shamelessness; similarly, I believe there is a cure for one’s betrayal.

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Kaycee Valmonte

Kaycee Valmonte is a multimedia reporter who covers politics in the House of Representatives and public health.