charter change

‘It’s their right’: Romualdez maintains openness to work with senators on charter change

Kaycee Valmonte

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

‘It’s their right’: Romualdez maintains openness to work with senators on charter change

MANIFESTO. All 24 senators on January 23, 2024 sign a manifesto rejecting the people’s initiative which was said to have been initiated by some members of the House of Representatives pushing for charter change.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

'When I see something good and positive like an RBH (Resolution of Both Houses No. 6) and the willingness to work with the House, I will embrace it and I will work hand in hand,' House Speaker Martin Romualdez says

MANILA, Philippines — Despite senators unanimously rejecting the ongoing public petition for charter change, House Speaker Martin Romualdez still expressed optimism on working with the upper chamber to amend the constitution.

Hindi ko pinapatulan ‘yung mga ganoong salita (I don’t respond to statements like that),” Romualdez said in a brief evening press conference on Wednesday, January 24. “That is their right, I respect that right all the time.”

All members of the Senate signed a manifesto on Tuesday against the ongoing effort to amend the Constitution by people’s initiative. Lawmakers from the upper chamber alleged the House of Representatives is seeking to dilute the senators’ voting power by voting on provisions jointly through a constituent assembly.

The 315 members of the lower chamber would overpower the Senate’s 24 votes.

The Commission on Elections has received petition documents from 184 out of 250 legislative districts as of Tuesday. But with allegations of bribery, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva wants to get the signatures “invalidated.”

Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda on Wednesday claimed that even if those coerced to sign the petition would be removed, collected signatures would still breach the 12% requirement for a people’s initiative.

Romualdez, however, chose to focus on the “welcome development” that the Resolution of Both Houses No. (RBH) 6 was filed last week. The resolution puts the Senate in charge of amending economic provisions of the Constitution, further opening the country to foreign investors.

“When I see something good and positive like an RBH and the willingness to work with the House, I will embrace it and I will work hand in hand,” Romualdez said on Wednesday, adding that no less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants both houses of Congress to work in unison.

But even the fate of the resolution is now in limbo.

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said on Wednesday the resolution is in “suspended animation” after reports surfaced that some congressmen were involved in the signature campaign for the people’s initiative, which Romualdez denied. – with reports from Bonz Magsambol and Dwight de Leon/Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI
Download the Rappler App!