Drilon on proposed term extension: ‘We will oppose it’

MANILA – The assailed House Concurrent Resolution No. 1 seeking a longer term for congressmen and other local officials while shortening the current six-year term of senators would require an amendment to the Constitution, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday.

“The proposal would require an amendment to the Constitution either through a constitutional convention or a constitutional assembly. A mere resolution cannot amend the Constitution,” Drilon said.

“It’s a shame to even talk about it when we just opened the 18thCongress. Instead of dilligently working on measures to uplift the lives of 25.2 percent of Filipinos living below the poverty line, you are talking about staying in power,” Drilon said.

Section 1 of Article XVII of the Constitution states: “Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or constitutional convention.”

Drilon said that any amendment of the Constitution during the remaining years of the Duterte administration “has zero chance of passing,” particularly with the President recognizing that Charter change won’t happen during his time.

Still, Drilon said that the minority bloc will oppose any attempt to change or amend the Constitution.

“We will oppose it. Instead of wasting the very limited time of Congress on Cha-cha, let us focus on the pressing problems like lack of jobs, hunger and poverty, which we can address through ordinary legislation,” Drilon said.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez filed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 1, which, among others, proposes to extend the current three years term of congressmen and local officials to four years and reduce the term of senators to only four years from the current six years.

Earlier, Drilon said that the President’s silence on federalism in his fourth State of the Nation Address indicated that Charter change was not a priority of the Duterte administration anymore. (Photo Courtesy of Franklin Drilon Facebook Page)