Monday, June 8, 2009


Church threats won’t stop Cha-Cha, says Nograles


THE House leadership will not be deterred from amending the 1987
Constitution despite threats of mass protests from all sectors
especially the Catholic Church.

"Maybe we should remind them of the separation of Church and State,"
Speaker Prospero Nograles said yesterday.

In a pastoral statement Saturday, CBCP president archbishop Angel
Lagdameo called on those opposing Charter Change "to go on with their
plan of mobilization to protect the common good and national

The Archbishop of Jaro, however, appealed to the public to "express it
in a peaceful nonviolent way in order that we may not fall into the
trap that will necessitate martial law again."

Nograles also took a pot shot at Planning Secretary Ralph Recto’s
warning that the decision of the House to approve the Constituent
Assembly resolution will jeopardize the economy.

"Well, it’s the job of the economic managers to take care of the
economy and it’s the job of Congress to pass bills and resolutions by
voting in public and transparent manner. Secretary Recto did not make
that statement when we were proposing and debating the issue on
constitutional change. Why is it only now that he is warning us?" he

"If the NEDA thinks that this could cause more shocks on the economy,
it is also therefore correct that the reason why our economy has been
suffering from shocks since most of us can remember is because of this
Cha-Cha issue," Nograles said.

"We have to find the answer now because otherwise, this cycle of
debate whether to Cha-Cha or not to Cha-cha will continue to have its
effects on the economy," he said.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said Nograles should not to
waste his time reaching out to senators to support a Senate-less Con-

Sen. Francis Escudero said Nograles’ attempt to persuade senators
should be on the premise that the House cannot do it without the
Senate. "Without that commitment, it would be useless to talk," he

Sen. Mar Roxas said he is convinced that the 23 senators who signed a
resolution last year expressing their opposition on Cha-Cha would not
change their mind.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said he has always believed Malacañang has
plans B, C, D, E… and so on to stay in power. "It is not a move by
congressmen and women of palaka (Partido Lakas-Kampi) alone. It has
PGMA’s blessings."

He cautioned the move of the House to talk to senators one by one
"must be taken seriously. This may be mind conditioning. Maybe they
have already the support of some senators."

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde assured that President Arroyo is not
seeking any elective position after 2010.

Reports said Arroyo might run for Congress in 2010, which could
entitle her to election as prime minister if she wins and joins

"Hearsay lang iyan. Wala namang ebidensya na tatakbo siya," Remonde
said. – With JP Lopez and Jocelyn Montemayor

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