Press Release
April 13, 2009

Gordon to House members: Resist temptation vs Cha-cha

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today advised his House colleagues to resist the temptation of tinkering with the 1987 Constitution, notably in lifting the term limits of President Arroyo and other incumbent government officials.

Gordon, former chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, issued the statement as he branded the "last hurrah" for Cha-cha as ill-timed and would only fuel public outrage.

"I strongly advise our colleagues in the House against moves to bypass the Senate in their attempt to railroad Charter change. Resist the temptation because it would not do any good for our country now," he said.

"Changing the Constitution now is ill-timed and would only cause the people to question the government's sincerity to conduct elections in May 2010," he added.

Gordon explained that current Cha-cha moves will only trigger suspicions of lifting the term limits among incumbent officials even if Malacañang assured that the 2010 national elections would push through.

He also stressed that any attempt to amend the Constitution will have to be voted upon by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, separately.

The House resolution seeking to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly to amend the Charter is reportedly backed by at least 175 congressmen..

Gordon stressed that Article XVII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution provides that any amendment to - or revision of - the Constitution may be proposed by the Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members.

"This constitutional provision should not be misconstrued as a provision where both Houses of Congress vote jointly. The Constitution, the fundamental law of our land, is very clear as when Congress may vote jointly, and this excludes Charter change," he said.

Gordon reiterated his call that any changes in the Constitution should be done only after the May 2010 elections so that it would be free from suspicions and any politically-vested interest of incumbent government officials.

The senator had filed Senate Resolution 26 that calls for a Constitutional Convention after the May 2010 elections with the newly-elected members of the 15th Congress as delegates.

Gordon explained that under his proposal, the electorate, in choosing their representatives to the 15th Congress, will be guided by the specific amendments to the Constitution proposed by the candidates as part of their campaign platforms.

"The new Congress to be elected in the 2010 elections will therefore carry the mandate from the people not only to represent them in Congress, but also in the Constitutional Convention to propose amendments to, or revision of, the Constitution," he said.

News Latest News Feed