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Thursday, February 20, 2014

PNoy Behind Charter Change Move, Opposition Solons Charges

Pres. Aquino is behind the efforts of his allies in Congress to have the constitution amended by a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) composed of the 2 houses of congress, members of the House of Representatives minority bloc said yesterday. Opposition leaders in the chamber said the actions of the House Speaker Belmonte Jr. and the pro-Malacanang majority bloc believe what PNoy has been mouthing against the charter amendments. For 2 days now the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments has conducted whole day hearings on House Joint Resolution No. 1, a first in congress during the incumbent president's term. HJR No. 1 seeks to amend 7 economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution by inserting the phrase "as provided by the law". This could result in the lifting of restrictions of ownership of media, land and business enterprises by foreigners. But Colmenares said the proposed lifting of economic restrictions is just an opening to more objectionable amendments the lifting of term limits, the anti-political dynasty provisions and other political portions of the Constitution. Colmenares said PNoy's tactic of denying knowledge about the Charter Change bid makes him a better political strategist than his predecessors, former Pres. Ramos and Rep. Arroyo which is now a Pampanga legislator. He recalled that Ramos and Arroyo came under severe criticism when they declared support for Charter revisions in their time. Gabriela Partylist Rep. Ilagan said the holding of 2 consecutive hearings by the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments are tell-tale signs that Malacanang and it's congressional allies are moving to railroad the measure. 1-BAP Partylist Rep. Bello III accused proponents of Charter Change of having a hidden agenda of selling the country to foreigners.      
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