ORAS, Eastern Samar-House Minority Floor Leader Marcelino Libanan of the 4Ps party-list group said that there should be a debate on Charter Change so the entire Filipino people would be enlightened on the issue.
Libanan, who was interviewed during a ground-breaking of a farm-to-market road connecting eight remote villages of this town on Tuesday (April 11), made this call amid opposition by most of the senators and other sectors to tinker with the 1987 Constitution.
The party-list solon who is from Eastern Samar said that it is not correct to say, that this early, the move to amend the Constitution is ‘dead’ considering that 348 strong members of the House of Representatives have approved a resolution calling such a move.
He then made a call that a debate should be done so all issues regarding the move would be discussed and in the process, the entire Filipino people would be enlightened about it.
“The biggest mandate shall come from the people, directly. Meaning, I would encourage debate throughout the country so that when all the issues are out, the people…will favor to amend the Constitution or not” he said.
Earlier, the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention for the amendment or revision of the 36-year old Constitution.
Senator Imee Marcos, sister of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., said in a previous interview that Charter change is ‘dead on arrival’ on the Senate saying most of the senators are opposed to it.
She said that there are more pressing matters that needs to be addressed right away by the country’s leaders such as inflation, job creation, and improving the economy than amending the Constitution.
But Libanan said that this is just the sentiments of the senators and ‘other voices’ should be heard on this regard.
“We shall also hear the voices of others because the report to us is that people all over the country are very much interested in amending the Constitution,” he said.
He insisted that after almost three decades in operation, the Constitution needs to be amended or ‘revisited’ to make it more responsive to the needs of the current situation.
The House leader said that he was one of those who supported the approval of the 1987 Constitution when he was still a student leader because it addresses the ‘needs of that time.’
Libanan said that since then, many have changed which he said the Constitution needs to address ‘to respond the global set-up.’
This includes allowing foreigners to own properties in the country and help the country to become more attractive to foreign investors.
Asked if he is in favor to alter the current term of office of elected officials like congressmen, Libanan said that is in favor to it.
He said that the terms of office for congressmen and senators as fixed under the Constitution is ‘unfair.’
For one, congressmen have a term of three years in office with two terms for reelection or a total of nine years.
In contrast, senators have six-year in office and another term for reelection or a 12-year term.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)