• Aquino unswayed by Cha-cha bills – Valte

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    MalacaÑang deputy spokesman Abigail Valte on Saturday said President Benigno Aquino’s stand on constitutional amendments has not changed even if measures have been filed in Congress seeking to amend some provisions of the Charter.

    “Whether it is economic or political amendments in the 1987 Constitution, President Benigno Aquino 3rd is definitely not buying it,” Valte said, referring to the moves made by the members of the House of Representatives who wanted to lift the 40 percent limit on foreign ownership of businesses and public utilities.

    In a radio interview, Valte reiterated the President’s opposition to Charter change.

    Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed measures amending the economic provisions of the Constitution and extending the term of lawmakers, respectively.

    Rodriguez’s bill aims to extend the term of lawmakers to four years under a unicameral legislative body.

    Under the present Charter, a member of the House can only sit in his post for three years and can only be eligible for reelection for two consecutive terms.

    Belmonte, who is assured of retaining his Speakership post in the 16th Congress, earlier said that he would not raise Charter change discussions during the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council meeting, a group convened to identify the priority bills of the Aquino administration.

    “I won’t allow it [Cha-Cha] to stand in the way of the President’s priority bills, in deference to his program of government,” he said.

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