Press Release
December 11, 2008

Stop Cha-Cha or face people's wrath

Senator Loren Legarda urged today charter-change (cha-cha) proponents among the allies of the administration to abandon their plan in favor of much-needed efforts to address the many problems facing the country today such as poverty.

Loren issued the statement in reaction to the reported plan of the initiators of cha-cha to ask the President whether she prefers to amend the constitution by way of forming a constituent assembly or through a constitutional convention

"In the same way that the prayer for an extended term for the President during a cabinet meeting was seen as a zarzuela, this latest move is as scripted as a scripted can be," said Loren.

"Except that if it is a movie they are making, its storyline is not at all believable. The people can see through the fact that term extension for the present administration is the driving force behind the off-and-on cha-cha initiatives."

She said that any mode of amending the constitution would be self-serving for the President if it would result to her term being extended beyond 2010.

The people are wary of all charter change moves by Malacanang, and are clamoring for more action on problems like the slowing economy, jobs being lost by Filipinos here and abroad, and survey results belying government's claim that less Filipinos are poor or going hungry.

The so-called rainbow coalition in the House of Representatives is pushing cha-cha, a move which Loren said would "dead on the water" as far as the Senate is concerned.

"They can always try, but there's going to be a backlash among the people if they will ram cha-cha resulting to term extension down their throats. There's a limit to what they can get away with," Loren said.

Loren added that the President may deny any participation in cha-cha initiatives, but that such a denial may not come across as believable to people.

"It will be akin to her pledge not to run for president in 2004 only for her to turn back on her words," said Loren.

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