Transparency is key: Villafuerte wants crucial Cha-cha meeting in Senate to push through

At a glance

  • Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte (In photo) wants the Senate meeting between Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Senator Robin Padilla on Charter change (Cha-cha) to push through, but it shouldn't be behind closed doors.

  • (Photo from Facebook)

The Senate leadership should allow the botched meeting between Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Senator Robin Padilla to push through, "in the interest of full transparency".

Thus, said Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte--one of the more vocal supporters of Charter change (Cha-cha) in the House of Representatives--even as he cited Zubiri’s alleged preference hold such meeting in private.

“We are suggesting to Senate President Migz [Zubiri] to allow Senator Robin and Con-Con proponents in the House led by Rep. Rufus to meet, as originally planned, in a public hearing this week in the interest of full transparency,” said Villafuerte, majority leader of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).

Rodriguez and Padilla chair the committees on constitutional amendments in the House and Senate, respectively.

Rodriguez was supposed to attend the Padilla panel's hearing on Cha-cha this Monday, March 20. However, his invite was canceled and he was thus unable to "sell" the House's proposal for the creation of a constitutional convention (con-con) to pave the way for Cha-cha.

“The last thing we need is to hold such a meeting behind closed doors, which is the apparent preference of the Senate President," Villafuerte said.

"As such a secretive engagement would not afford our people a golden opportunity to hear from our senators and House members the pros and cons of constitutional reform, and which between the con-con and con-ass (Constituent Assembly) is the better route to tweaking our 36-year-old Charter,” he said.

Reports said that senators could give Cha-cha a chance of the con-ass mode would be tapped instead of a con-con.

The House has already transmitted to the Senate its twin measures Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No.6 and House Bill (HB) No.7352.

In tandem, the measures seek the creation of a con-con, the delegates of which would be tasked to propose amendments to the existing Charter.

On the other hand, under a con-ass, no election of delegates will take place and it will be the House members and senators who will perform the task of proposing Constitutional amendments.