Press Release
December 7, 2006

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada calls on citizens to support opposition
to constituent assembly to change Charter

Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada called on the people to support moves to stop illegal plan of the allies of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the House of Representatives to change the rules for the convening of a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to amend the Constitution without the Senate.

He said the desperate move of the House majority to change the rules to pave the way for the Con-Ass is illegal and violates the Constitution.

The House voted on Tuesday 161 to 25 to change House Rule 5 by striking out its second sentence which read: The adoption of resolutions proposing amendments to or revision of the Constitution shall follow the procedure for the enactment of bills.

Estrada said the allies of Mrs. Arroyo want to change the rules to make it easier for the House majority to convene the Con-Ass, without any participation from the senators, to abolish the Senate and thus prolonging the terms of Mrs. Arroyo and the lawmakers.

The Constitution mandates that convening Constituent Assembly to amend the Charter can be done by the House of Representatives and the Senate voting separately and not as one body which the House majority wants.

"The Constitutional amendments proposed by Mrs. Arroyo will only benefit her and divert the issue from the political crisis caused by the controversial Hello Garci tapes," Estrada stressed.

Estrada said the citizens should remain vigilant and join the opposition to the Con-Ass which will only benefit the selfish interest of Malacañang and the House majority.

"The House allies of Mrs. Arroyo should reexamine their conscience because the Charter change made by the illegal Con-Ass will be condemned by the people and will not be approved in a plebiscite," he said.

Mrs. Arroyo and her cohorts in congress desperate to start the process of changing the Constitution so that the people's attention will be diverted from the anomalies and irregularities linked to the administration.

The Amendments to the Constitution should be made only after Mrs. Arroyo steps down and a new and credible president is installed.

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