Press Release
June 2, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday dared President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to order her partymates to stop moves to railroad charter change resolutions in the House of Representatives.

"It is only the President now who can stop the Cha-cha train in the Lower House. She is, after all, the head of the newly-merged Partido Lakas-Kampi," he said in a statement.

"As the Good Book says, there is a time for everything. Charter change now is irrelevant, untimely and uncalled for," said Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

He said that while President Arroyo is now in Seoul, she must know what her allies are doing in the House.

"There is no plausible deniability in this case. Her absence will not stand as an excuse before the bar of history," Escudero said.

The 39-year old lawmaker said administration allies should instead focus on ensuring the passage of the extension of the agrarian reform law and other measures that will help the country, especially the poor, from suffering further because of the deepening economic crisis.

The House plenary is expected to take up two resolutions today, including a proposal to convene as a constituent assembly, after it was passed at the committee level on Monday. House Speaker Prospero Nograles has said they will put the resolutions to a vote before Congress adjourns sine die on June 5.

"We are on the edge of recession. We are facing a possible outbreak of the dreaded flu virus. We are doing battle with rebels and extremists on three fronts. We cannot afford to waste time and scarce resources on proposals that will eventually be rejected by the people," Escudero said.

"If these moves are not meant to extend the administration's stay in power after 2010, the President must order her men in the House to stand down and leave charter change to her successor," he said.

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