SIX members of the Liberal Party (LP) in the House of Representatives have signed the resolution to override President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s veto of the proposed P2,000 Social Security System (SSS) pension hike, bringing to 65 the number of lawmakers supporting the measure.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led efforts to gather 192 signatures required to override the presidential veto.
But LP vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo, who also voted for the hike in June last year, was not among the LP lawmakers who crossed party lines to support the Colmenares resolution.
The latest signatory from the LP is Marikina 1st district Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, who joined five other LP representatives who initially signed the resolution. These are Representatives Pedro Acharon Jr., Rosemarie Arenas, Rodolfo Biazon, Manuel Iway, and Roman Romulo.
Acharon, Biazon, Iway, Romulo, and Teodoro were among the 211 representatives who originally voted in favor of the pension hike on June 9, 2015.
House records showed that Robredo was absent when senior citizens trooped to the House of Representatives on the last day of session of Congress to call on lawmakers to override the president’s veto.
In a Facebook post, activist Mae Paner, better known as Juana Change, slammed LP lawmakers for having time to campaign but not to listen to senior citizens.
“May time kayo mangampanya pero ni wala kayong binigay na karampot na oras para pakinggan ang hinaing ng mga seniors? Ito ba ang Tuwid na Daan? [You have time to campaign but you can’t even spare a bit of your time to hear the concerns of our senior citizens? Is this the straight path?]” she asked.
Paner also scored LP members who reversed their positions on the pension hike after initially supporting the measure.
Despite voting for the SSS pension hike earlier, LP members in the Senate and the House took turns defending Aquino’s decision to veto the bill. Among the LP lawmakers who initially voted for the measure are Rep. Edgar Erice, Rep. Barry Gutierrez, and Rep. Miro Quimbo.
Senate President Franklin Drilon, after announcing in December that the hike would be an early Christmas gift for retirees, later said that he respected the decision of the President.
A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to make the vetoed bill a law.