Zubiri: Con-Con will derail passage of 10 LEDAC bills 

At a glance

  • Amending the 1987 Constitution either through a Constitutional Convention (Con Con)  or Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) is a waste of time as the Senate does not have the needed votes, according to Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri.

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Amending the 1987 Constitution either through a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con)  or Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) is a waste of time as the Senate does not have the needed votes to pass it.

Such moves would only throw a monkey wrench to the passage of bills agreed upon by the Legislative, Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC). A number of the 10 bills had been passed by the Senate.

Senate President Juan Miguel ‘’Migz’’  Zubiri said a Charter change (Cha-cha) would throw the Senate out of focus in its law-making duties that is badly needed by the people.

‘’We are wasting a lot of time, energy and funding. It is a not a priority,’’ he stressed during a DWIZ radio interview Saturday, March 11.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III had said that the Cha-cha move has no support from President Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr.

Zubiri pointed out that Pimentel is right because the President holds the purse for a Cha-cha funding. The House measure requires billions of pesos.

The House of Representatives has passed on second reading a resolution seeking to make amendments to the Charter through Con Con.

The Senate Constitutional Amendments Committee chaired by Senator Robinhood Padilla is still undertaking committee hearings on Cha-cha in the provinces.

It seeks to amend the ‘’restrictive’’ economic provisions through a Con-Ass.

The House measure seeks to introduce various amendments, aside from the economic provisions that Padilla favors.

Zubiri said the Senate does not have the votes to approve the Charter change move.

‘’Ang katotohanan wala talaga kami numero maski na gusto ko itulak yan, 3/4 votes ang kailangan sa Senado, which is 18 votes (The reality is that, even if we want to, we need 3/4 votes in the Senate which is 18 votes).. Eh halos kalahati ng aking mga kausap doon, against charter change (But almost one half of the lawmakers I have talked to are against Charter change). Bakit pa tayo mag-aaway, bakit pa tayo magdidibisyon sa Senado dito sa usapin ng charter change eh (But why should we fight, why should there be divisions in the Senate due to this Charter change),’’ he pointed out.

Zubiri said his stand on the Charter change issue could be the reason for reports of a coup in the Senate leadership.

He maintains that the current Constitution is effective.

‘’Naipasa naman namin yung mga economic measures na gusto nilang amyendahan sa constitution, ginawa na namin sa batas (We have passed the economic measures that they seek to amend through Charter change),’’ he pointed out.

‘’We committed naman by first quarter of this year, bago magsine die ipapasa na namin ang mga bills natin (We have committed to pass the bills before Congress goes on a sine die adjournment,’’ he said.

Both chambers of Congress adjourn in early June.

Zubiri cited the Senate ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership  (RCEP) agreement and the passage of other bills.

These are the bills condoning the interest of loans of Agrarian Reform beneficiaries, the  AFP Attrition Law, SIM Registration Act, postponement of the Barangay Elections, and General Appropriations Act (GAA or national budget).

Being discussed now are amendments to the BOT Law, medical reserved corps, CDC law and creation of virology institute and internet transaction act.

He said the Senate would soon pass the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill.