Press Release
December 22, 2006

Senates anti-Chacha stance and record
performance highlight year-end report

The leadership of the Senate shot down today renewed push for constitutional reform, and served notice that it would not abandon the people in their collective action and outrage against unrelenting Chacha schemes.

Senate President Manny Villar issued the declaration in his year-end report, in which he also paid tribute to his colleagues in the upper chamber for its record feat of approving national and local bills crucial to sustaining the governments socio-economic reform agenda.

Let me make it clear that we in the Senate stand solidly against Charter change at this time. We have said so time and time again, Senate President Villar said.

He said the Senates unwavering stand against hasty Chacha moves is embodied in the flurry of resolutions adopted overwhelmingly by the senators, who crossed partylines.

Villar said that as early as the Second Regular Session, the Senate adopted Resolution 75 expressing the chambers sense that any proposed amendment to, or revision of the Constitution requires the approval of the Senate and the House voting separately.

Our stand even became more crystal-clear when we adopted the Senate Resolution 102 for this Chamber to intervene in the special civil action for certiorari and mandamus filed with the Supreme Court, Villar said.

He said the Senate also adopted Resolution 599 expressing our sense that any attempt to unilaterally propose amendments without the approval by three-fourths of the Senate voting separately is unconstitutional.

Villar said this month would be remembered for what had transpired outside the halls of the Senate. We have just gone through tumultuous weeks of uncalled for and politically-divisive moves to drastically change our Constitution, he said.

He said such devious maneuvers nearly plunged the country in a political crisis that could have severely undermined the economic gains achieved in the past.

I am glad that this unwanted political crisis over the Charter change is over. Sana tapos na nga. The nation can have a peaceful Christmas and look forward to a better New Year, Villar said.


He said the Malacañang and the House were forced to dump Chacha because of the tremendous public outrage against their brazen acts to alter the Constitution for ulterior motives other than the national interest. And for this, the administration should heed the lessons learned from episode in the countrys political drama.

The first lesson to be learned from these events in December is this: The people are watching us. Contrary to popular perception that they have become cynical over matters that concern government, they are not. They are very much aware of what is happening in government. They are vigilant. They seek moral leadership and principled governance based on national interest, Villar said.

They can discern the true from the false, the right form the wrong and the good from the bad. Their collective action, their outrage against the Chacha scheme serves as wake-up call for all of us who were given mandates to lead and govern.

Surely we in the Senate and our colleagues in the House and those in the executive and the Judiciary branches of government should take heed and learn lessons from, the Senate President said.

He thanked the people for standing by the Senate and the media for their vigilant, fair and transparent reporting of the event as they happened where they happen.

What remains very clear to me, therefore, is that our people continue to have high regard for who we are, what we represent, and where we must lead the nation coming years. That respect and continued trust for this institution is very reassuring and encouraging, and I must say, a much appreciated Christmas gift of the nation to the Senate of the Philippines. This is lesson number two: ever to be thankful to the people who handed the reins of leadership to us.

Villar said the Senate has delivered on its commitment to be more responsive and productive. We outlined our priority legislation in the areas of education, health and housing, agriculture, the plight of our overseas Filipino workers, the environment, cheap energy, investment, electoral reforms and the fight against global terrorism, among other vital concerns.

We have passed 45 bills on third and final reading. Of these, 19 are of national application and 26 of local application, he said.

My fellow senators, it has been indeed a productive five months for us. I am grateful to you all for the support you have given this representation. And I know that whatever we have achieved so far is always a reflection of our collective effort to do right for our people, Senate President said.

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