MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the Charter Change (Cha-Cha) created through the people’s initiative was “too divisive,” which directed the Senate to review the Charter.
After a meeting with congressional leaders on January 11, Marcos issued this directive, as revealed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday.
Zubiri shared this information while discussing the filing of Resolution of Both Houses of Congress 6 in the Senate. RBH6 seeks to modify specific economic provisions of the Constitution through legislative means.
RBH6 confines any attempt to amend the Constitution to particular provisions that would allow foreign ownership in public services, the education sector, and the advertising industry.
Zubiri, along with Senators Loren Legarda and Sonny Angara, submitted RBH6 to prevent a constitutional crisis amid the House’s advocacy for Charter Change and the resistance of other senators to Cha-cha.
Nonetheless, Noel Oñate, the main organizer of the People’s Initiative for Reform, Modernization, and Action (PIRMA), affirmed that the signature drive is still ongoing.
“This is to avert a constitutional crisis between the House of Representatives and the Senate. And to make it clear that there are no other planned provisions or amendments on any other thing but purely economic in nature,” Zubiri conveyed this to reporters after he personally filed the resolution.
Upon discovering the people’s initiative on January 5, he promptly requested a meeting with Marcos. He mentioned that he and the President held discussions on January 9, followed by a meeting with Speaker Martin Romualdez later that same day.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. stated that the government’s emphasis will be on the development of all islands and features in the West Philippine Sea.
“We will also focus on developing the islands and the other features that we are occupying,” Brawner said in a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.