Focus on pandemic, not Cha-cha, gov’t urged

Published January 10, 2021, 2:01 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday that the government should focus on how to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to Filipinos instead of Charter change.

Vice President Leni Robredo

Robredo said that amending the Constitution is not the right way to reform the partylist system.

“Yesterday, it was the 300th day of our community quarantine. We still have to work on a lot of matters that we are not able to properly attend to, then we will talk about it (Cha-cha),” she said in her weekly radio show.

The Vice President noted studies conducted by independent agencies that identified the Philippines as one of the countries most vulnerable to the ongoing contagion.

According to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, President Duterte and lawmakers met last November to tackle the issue of Cha-cha.

Duterte suggested during the meeting either the amendment or scrapping of the partylist law as a way to resolving the communist insurgency.

Robredo said the government should shift its attention from unnecessary things not related to the pandemic, referring to the enactment of the controversial anti-terror law, closure of broadcast giant ABS-CBN, and now Cha-cha.

“Have we not learned from focusing our energy and attention on the matters that made lives difficult for our countrymen?” she asked.

The government, she added, should focus on efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections and help those severely affected by pandemic.

Robredo acknowledged the need to reform the partylist system because of abuses but she said that Cha-cha is a “dangerous exercise” that will not resolve the problem.