File photo courtesy of OVP
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo criticized charter change as "untimely" because the Philippines is facing more pressing concerns, such as the rising prices of basic goods and the spate of killings in the country.
"Hindi napapanahon ang diskusyon ukol sa pag-amyenda ng ating Saligang Batas, at lalo ang anumang mungkahing baguhin ang termino ng liderato at ipagpaliban ang eleksyon sa susunod na taon, dahil sa dami ng bumabagabag sa ating mga kababayan ngayon," Robredo said in a statement on Sunday, July 8.
(It is untimely to discuss amending our Constitution, and most especially any proposal to change terms of office and postpone next year's elections, because many problems hound our countrymen today.)
The Vice President added: "Ang usaping simbigat nito ay hindi dapat minamadali at ginagawang tungkol lamang sa mga kasalukuyang nasa poder ng kapangyarihan. Kung pilitin ito nang hindi isinasalang sa akmang pag-aaral at konsultasyon, hindi ba't isinusugal natin ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan?"
(Discussions on something like this should not be rushed and made to cater only to those currently in power. If we force this issue without subjecting it to enough studies and consultations, aren't we gambling on the future of our nation?)
Robredo's statement comes a day before the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) on Monday, July 9, submits its approved draft constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte. After a series of reviews and possible inputs, Duterte is expected to endorse the draft to Congress during his 3rd State of the Nation Address.
Con-Com member Julio Teehankee earlier interpreted the draft constitution to mean Duterte and other officials can run again once the new charter is ratified. (READ: Highlights of Consultative Committee's draft constitution)
"Because it's a like a reboot, it's a reset," Teehankee was quoted as saying.