Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. isn’t raising the white flag on amending the Constitution just yet.
In a chance interview on Wednesday, Belmonte said Charter Change (Cha-cha) is a topic that merits discussions with President Benigno Aquino 3rd even if the Chief Executive has consistently rejected it.
Belmonte is in favor of amending the 1987 Charter’s economic provisions, especially the 60-40 clause that allows foreigners to own 40 percent of businesses in the country.
“Charter change is dear to my heart but only with respect to the economic provisions that I have been talking about. I know that the President has said that he wasn’t in favor of it, but I will continue to try to make representations here, talk to him,” he added. “I hope he says yes. As far as I am concerned, I feel duty bound to talk about it.”
House Deputy Minority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte said Charter change is possible only if the provisions to be amended are not controversial in nature.
“If it is only for something harmless such as an economic provision, we could just do it by legislation,” Romualdez told reporters.
Romualdez spearheaded a signature campaign during the 14th Congress (2007 to 2010) which sought to convene the House and the Senate for a Constituent Assembly to amend the Constitution, but his move was perceived as a maneuver to perpetuate then President Gloria Arroyo into power.
Llanesca T. Panti