PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — CHARTER change supporters in Congress yesterday shunned former President Fidel Ramos’ statement that Charter change is finished and it was time for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to move on.
The President’s allies led by Nationalist People’s Coalition Rep. Eduardo Veloso of Leyte and Kampi Rep. Anthony Miranda of Isabela said it was not for former President Ramos to say when government should bury one of its priority agenda, which is Cha-cha, since the constituent assembly proposal remains alive in the House.
The lawmakers vowed to give Con-Ass their best push when Congress resumes its session next week.
Veloso, a member of the Commission on Appointments, said Con-Ass may be the last breath of Cha-cha under President Arroyo and the majority of House members are determined to sustain it. “It ain’t over, till it’s over. We remain optimistic about the chances of Con-Ass especially since 194 congressmen have signed in for the resolution filed by Rep. Prospero Pichay.”
Veloso said Charter change made possible through Con-Ass shall be the best legacy of the 13th Congress.
“If we fail in this endeavor, then it can be said that Cha-cha is dead and it would be time to move on. But right now, we are not about to abandon Con-Ass just because of the ill-fate suffered by the People’s Initiative petition in the Supreme Court. There is still hope for Cha-cha through Con-Ass,” he said.
Miranda said there is no basis for former President Ramos to say Cha-cha is over since Con-Ass has a good chance of getting approved in the House.
“Not all available options had been exhausted. Let’s give Con-Ass a chance. And there is also the constitutional convention (Con-Con) option if Con-Ass is not adopted. I am for genuine change towards federal parliamentary,” Miranda said.
The Kampi spokesman said it would be good for the country to move on under a new system where everyone can work towards full stability.
“But moving on under the current system is next to impossible because of its vulnerability to political shakedowns with the controversy-baiting opposition, military adventurism and even people’s loss of confidence in some of our institutions,” he said.