PNoy unmoved, won't change mind on Cha-cha

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 07 2014 03:58 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2014 11:59 PM

MANILA - President Aquino's position on Charter change remains unchanged.

He won't support moves in Congress to change the Constitution's economic provisions, urging proponents to show if the benefits of changing the charter would outweigh the disadvantages.

"Sana mapakita ang dahilan kung bakit kailangan nating palitan. Dahil nga ito ang Saligang Batas, pinaka-pundasyon, pinaka-bedrock ng ating mga batas. Mababago, short term magkakaroon ng disruption. Sulit ba 'yung disruption na 'yan doon sa anticipated benefits?" Aquino told reporters.

He again cited China as an example to show that economic progress is not necessarily correlated with land ownership. He pointed out that China managed to keep its economy robust even if it does not allow foreigners to own land.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez earlier said the President was keeping an open mind on “economic” Charter change, contrary to what Malacañang officials are telling the public.

Rodriguez said he informed the President that under the Cha-cha proposal of the House, he would have veto power over any Congress-approved bill that seeks foreign ownership of land or a certain sector of the economy.

Under Resolution No. 1, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and his colleagues are seeking the amendment of the economic provisions of the Constitution by inserting the phrase, “unless otherwise provided by law.”

This means the present restrictions would remain unless Congress lifts them. A bill would have to be approved for every restriction that would be scrapped.