MANILA — Sen. Robin Padilla said Tuesday it was hard to accept that most senators are not open this time to charter change.
In an ANC interview, the chairperson of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments noted that several senators previously filed bills seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution.
"Mahirap pong tanggapin na hindi po sila open," he told ANC's "Headstart".
"Hindi ko po matatanggap na sila po ay against dito. Parang ano 'yun nagpalit ka ng isip?"
(It's hard to accept that they're not open to this. I cannot accept that they're against this. Did they change their minds?)
Senate President Miguel Zubiri on Monday scrapped the Senate panel's discussion on the bill where members of the House of Representatives were invited.
Zubiri pointed out that their House counterparts should not be invited as “resource persons” as part of the inter-parliamentary courtesy.
He asked for an executive session instead.
'ISUSULONG KO SA 2024'
A neophyte senator, Padilla admitted that he was not well-versed with Senate traditions.
"Hindi naman po ako nandito para makipag-away. Nandito po ako para mag-debate tayo," he said.
(I am not here to argue. I am here so we could debate.)
Padilla said the Senate should have its own version of the bill instead of adopting the House proposal.
He reiterated he wanted to revise the Charter's economic provisions through an elected constitutional convention, which he said would boost the country's economy.
The members of con-con, who will be elected by the public, will draft the changes to the 1987 Constitution.
Padilla stressed he was not prioritizing amendments to the Charter's political provisions.
"Isusulong ko 'yan sa 2024 para sa 2025," he said.
(I will push for that in 2024, for 2025.)
While a House super majority has voted in favor of con-con, Zubiri earlier said the proposal would have a slim chance in passing the Senate as only few senators supported it.
He instead urged lawmakers to focus on solving inflation, poverty and unemployment.
Zubiri also raised concern that political amendments could be introduced should the proposed hybrid con-con push through.
This could include removing the term limits of public office, changing the structure of government, and abolishing the Senate, he added.
— Report from Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News