Davide fears Cha-cha railroading via House 'super majority'


Posted at Jan 17 2018 01:22 PM

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MANILA - Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. fears the proposed amendments in the 1987 Constitution may be railroaded by the "super majority" in the House of Representatives. 

Davide said members of the lower chamber's super majority are likely influenced by their political loyalty, noting a rush to join the dominant party, which advocates federalism, after the 2016 polls. 

"I doubt very much if the super majority now can act with thorough deliberation on a matter which the party itself considers to be a part of its proposal," he said in a Senate hearing Wednesday. 

"It can easily be railroaded by those in power by the lower house," said the former chief justice who is also among the framers of the 1987 Constitution. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, who is pushing to change the charter in order to adopt a federal system, has a super majority in both houses of Congress.

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Unlike the super majority, Davide said the framers of the current charter were chosen without taking into account their political attachments and were more free to discuss matters objectively. 

Opposition congressmen earlier criticized the move of the lower House leadership to "railroad" a concurrent resolution to convene Congress into a constituent assembly. The adoption of House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 was carried by viva voce on Tuesday’s session.

"Talagang lokohan na itong Kongresong ito. Napakahalagang usapin ng pagbabago ng Konstitusyon ay itinigil na ang anumang pagtatanong. Ni wala pa nga tayo sa period of debate," ACT party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said. 

For his part, former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. said members of the minority should not let the super majority silence their voices. 

He also encouraged the people to speak out on the important issues raised in the bid to revise the constitution, as this is part of our democratic rights. 

"We must never allow any super majority to trample upon our rights to speak out," said the former senator.