Robredo on renewed calls for Cha-cha: 'Napaka-wrong timing'

 By Jennylou Canon


Vice President Leni Robredo described the recent Charter change (Cha-cha) call by lawmakers as “really ill-timed.”

In her weekly radio program, Robredo urged the government to focus on addressing the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy instead of pushing for changes in the Constitution.

“Ito na iyong sinasabi natin na kahit noong nag-uumpisa pa lang iyong pandemic, ang dami nating inasikasong kung ano-ano na hindi naman related sa pandemic. Ito iyong dahilan kung bakit maraming mga Pilipino iyong naghihirap ngayon,” Robredo said.

“Ito iyong dahilan kung bakit ang taas ng ating unemployment rate. Ito iyong dahilan kung bakit ang daming negosyo na nagsara,” she added.

Talks about changing the 1987 Constitution resurfaced after Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino reportedly asked lawmakers to convene into a Constituent Assembly last December 7.

Chair of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. also announced that the lower chamber will resume Cha-cha debates this month and will focus on “restrictive” economic provisions of the Constitution.

However, Robredo stressed that there is still a lot of work to be done in the country’s battle with the pandemic as the government cannot afford to divert its attention and resources to other matters again.

“During the pandemic, nakapasa tayo ng Anti-Terror Law. During the pandemic, napasara iyong ABS-CBN. Tapos ngayon na naman magcha-Charter Change tayo during the pandemic,” Robredo said.

“Parang hindi pa ba tayo natututo? Hindi pa ba tayo natututo na iyong energies natin at atensyon natin, i-focus natin sa mga bagay na hindi magpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan? Bakit hindi natin tutukan iyong mga kailangang tutukan ngayon?” she added.

Presidential Spokerperson Harry Roque earlier said that the government is prioritizing the COVID-19 pandemic and rejected claims on extending the President’s term through allies pushing for Cha-cha.

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