Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. on Wednesday urged the Senate to give the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution a chance, as House lawmakers assure there would be no lifting of term limits involved, just revisions on the economic provisions.
“We really need their active participation. Sana bigyan ito ng chance n gating counterpart sa Senado (I hope our counterparts in the Senate will give this a chance). In a democratic representation, sovereignty resides in the people and all government authorities emanate from them,” Garbin said in an Ugnayan sa Batasan virtual press forum.
Garbin, who chairs the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, made the call after his panel adopted Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 (RBH2) even after some senators questioned the timing of its approval due in part by the country’s ongoing battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawmaker reiterated that the measure specifically seeks to amend economic provisions of the Constitution particularly those restrictive economic policies.
“That’s why ‘yung mga pagdududa, haka-haka or maling akala, ay talagang maling akala lamang. Dahil yung iba, sa pag-uumpisa ng ating pagdinig sa committee, inakusahan tayong (That’s why those doubts, speculations, are just that false speculations only. Because the others, from the start of the hearings of the committee have accused us that) this will be solely for term extension, lifting of term limits or just to benefit the incumbents in the House of Representatives and the Senate, or any elected official for that matter,” he pointed out.
“Pero patunay din na yung nangyari kahapon, yung na-adopt yung RBH 2 (That’s why what happened yesterday after adopting RBH2), disproves yung mga haka-haka (those speculations) and we see the product that it is solely confined in order to lift the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution,” the partylist lawmaker reiterated.
He further said the Senate should allow the public to decide on whether or not the proposed economic amendments to the Constitution would be adopted.
“Having said that, kami dito sa House, ang direktiba ni Speaker ay tapusin ito sa plenaryo, pagdebatehan, at kunin yung mandato na boto na (we are heeding House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s call to finish the measure in the plenary, debate on it and get the mandated) three-fourths (3/4) vote of all its members of the House of Representatives,” he said.
“Pag natapos namin ang requirement na ‘yun na hinihingi ng Constitution, it-transmit namin sa Senado, sila na ang bahala doon at pag-isipan nila (Once we finish this requirement that is under the Constitution, we will transmit this to the Senate and allow them to decide and study the matter),”
“Of course, panawagan namin, panawagan ni Speaker that they look into it given the chance and ibato natin sa taumbayan sa isang plebesito. Dapat ‘yung taumbayan ang mag-apruba nito. Dapat taumbayan ang magsabi na ito ay akseptable, karapat-dapat (and allow the people to decide in a plebiscite. The people should be the ones to approve this. The people should be the one to say whether this is acceptable and worthy),” he reiterated.