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THE GMA CHARTER CHANGE EXPRESS : ON THE ROLL!

by AJLPP-USA Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2006 at 1:19 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0995 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The GMA Charter Change Express is on the Roll! The House of Representatives amended Tuesday evening its own rules governing constitutional amendments to implement the administration’s plan to revise the Constitution. According to news sources; voting 161-25, the House adopted in a plenary session a motion filed by Deputy Majority Floor Leader Arthur Defensor that would pave the way for a speedy approval of Charter change resolutions. The majority bloc plans to file two resolutions -- one seeking to convene Congress to propose constitutional amendments or revisions and the other containing proposed specific changes to the Charter.

The GMA Charter Change EXPRESS : Philippine Lower House amends its rules on Charter change

Manila-- The GMA Cha-cha Express is on the Roll!!

The House of Representatives amended Tuesday evening its own rules governing constitutional amendments to implement the administration’s plan to revise the Constitution.

According to news sources; voting 161-25, the House adopted in a plenary session a motion filed by Deputy Majority Floor Leader Arthur Defensor that would pave the way for a speedy approval of Charter change resolutions.

The majority bloc plans to file two resolutions -- one seeking to convene Congress to propose constitutional amendments or revisions and the other containing proposed specific changes to the Charter.

After more than two hours of debates, the House voted on the motion despite strong objections from members of the opposition. Last week, the House majority attempted to amend the House rules but was prevented by the opposition bloc.

The amendment deleted the last sentence of Section 105, Rule 15 of the House rules, which reads: “The adoption of resolutions proposing amendments to or revision of the constitution shall follow the procedure for the enactment of bills."

By omitting it, some House members said that any resolution on constitutional amendment should not have to go through the usual legislative mill which requires Senate concurrence.

But the opposition Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero pulled a surprise by proposing a change to House rules that would have any amendments take effect 15 days after their publication.

“I move that we amend section 150 of our rules and 151 to provide that the effectivity of our rules shall be made to apply only after 15 days, after the same has been published in a newspaper of general circulation,” he said.

Camarines Sur Representative. The main GMA ally , Luis Villafuerte objected to Escudero's motion, saying the opposition legislator had violated an agreement that he would only stand up on the floor to make a manifestation, not a motion.

Escudero earlier dismissed the House rules amendment as “illegal, unconscionable, and immoral” while deputy minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano called it a “congressional coup.”

Makati Representative Agapito “Butz” Aquino condemned it as “not only patently unconstitutional, but also highly inappropriate, if not outright immoral.”

“True in a democracy, majority rules. But now I realize, the majority is not always right,” he said. “It is not right to employ numbers to do away with rules, much less cast aside what is right and what is reasonable, merely to achieve selfish ends.”

House Majority Floor Leader Prospero Nograles on Monday said they would hold “marathon sessions” this week to approve resolutions to convene a constituent assembly and propose specific constitutional amendments such as the shift to a parliamentary-unicameral system and postpone next year’s polls to pave the way for the election of an interim parliament in November 2007.

Four administration lawmakers -- Representatives Villafuerte, Constantino Jaraula, Edcel Lagman, and Douglas Cagas -- co-sponsored Defensor's motion.

******

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