House Majority Leader Gonzales considers Cha-cha dead

January 22, 2014 7:32 am 

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, Jan. 21 (PNA) — House Majority Floor Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II on Tuesday admitted that the time in pushing Charter change (Cha-cha) is no longer in their favor and he considered the move dead.

"Personally, if you are going to ask me (on Cha-cha), wala na iyan kasi it’s very difficult," said Gonzales during the Ugnayan sa Batasan forum.

The House Majority leader said that most of his colleagues are hesitant to join the idea of changing the framework of the Constitution fearing that this might affect their political career.

Despite promises made that they will only touch the economic provisions of the Constitution which will be identified before pushing for Cha-cha, Gonzales said they have received more negative comments than pushing the Charter.

President Benigno Aquino III had been very vocal that he is not inclined to support Cha-cha and is not a priority in his administration.

Gonzales said the pronouncement of the President and the rejection by majority of Filipinos give lawmakers a second thought.

"While I still find it laudable, very laudable in fact 'yung intention to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution — and I was one of those who supported that initially during that 15th Congress — it is no longer possible," he said.

"Ang hope sana namin is during the early part of the Aquino presidency to take up Cha-cha so as to remove from any political accusation that there is intention to change the political framework of the government," he meron ano, meron ibang intention etc. to change the political framework of the government,” Gonzales explained.

Gonzales claimed that the proper time to push Cha-cha is on the first three years of the administration to avoid doubts that they are just doing this for their own comfort.

"Habang lumalapit iyan duon sa mid-term and after the mid-term of the President, it becomes very difficult because lalo na ngayon na ang President is very adamant na ayaw niya talaga ng change. The problem with any attempts to change the Constitution ay 'yung scare tactics, na palaging tinatakot ang mga tao na kung ma-amyendahan iyan (Constitution), it is only a camouflage 'yung pagpapalit ng political framework of the government," he stressed.

Gonzales said any change on the mind of the President at this time "might be a source of intrigues that there’s another gimmick," but quick to add that amending the economic provisions of the Constitution is "very laudable."

Besides, he said the 16th Congress has barely two years left to discuss Cha-cha. (PNA)



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