Senate: ‘No time’ to tackle draft federal constitution

Senate: ‘No time’ to tackle draft federal constitution

(center) Senate President Vicente Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines — Senate leaders are not keen on tackling the proposal seeking to revise or amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Some senators said they have no time to consider the bill although the Lower House has approved in the committee level the draft federal constitution authored by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“We don’t have any more time. We have the budget coming up, so the whole November, December we’ll just be discussing, approving the budget,” said Senate Majority Leader Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon echoed the same, saying, “Wala na kaming panahon in order to look at it and that‘s why I said ‘dead on arrival’ simply because we have no more time. Even looking at the merits, of which I have very serious reservations personal.”

Senator Richard Gordon on the other hand said, “Wala pa tayo sa federal. Malayong malayo pa tayo diyan. In the Senate, hindi pinag-uusapan.”

Drilon said that if Arroyo’s draft federal charter will be transmitted to the Senate, he will surely block the bill due to its questionable provisions.

These include the line of succession where the vice president was omitted.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has expressed the same sentiment.

“Because of time constraint, I really doubt that we will be able to consider it,” said Sotto.

The Senate president said the House version of the federal charter may possibly be tackled in the Senate next year.

The Senate committee on constitutional amendments has yet to release its committee report on the proposal to revise the charter. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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