Lawmaker: Senate cannot and should not ignore push for cha-cha

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Monday said the Senate cannot ignore the “overwhelming vote” for proposals seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"The Senate cannot and should not ignore our initiative, which is an expression of the people’s consensus we gathered in our recent nationwide public hearings and consultations," he said.

Rodriguez issued the statement following Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri's remark that charter change is not a priority of the Senate and it will unlikely gain support from senators.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also said earlier that he does not consider charter change a priority as more urgent matters need attention.

Rodriguez, who chairs the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, noted 301 lawmakers voted in favor of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 6 that calls for a constitutional convention (con-con).

"Inter-chamber courtesy calls that the Senate tackle any measure passed by the House, especially if it is approved by an overwhelming vote and requires urgent attention, and vice versa," Rodriguez said.

"Let the people know who are against and who are for reform that could result in more foreign companies investing or expanding their businesses in the country," he added.

House Bill 7352, RBH 6's implementing law, is expected to undergo the third and final reading this week.

Under HB 7352, each delegate will receive ₱10,000 per day as compensation for attending the con-con.