Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is expected to be the next Senate president, said it was not their priority in the Upper House to amend the 1987 Constitution. In particular, to extend the term of their elected officials.
Zubiri announced this in reaction to a suggestion by a congressman in the Lower House to amend the Constitution to extend the term of the president, vice president, and other elected officials.
“‘Wag na muna natin pag-usapan ‘yung Charter change na kabago-bago pa lang ng administration…I would say, right now, that is not our priority,” said Zubiri.
“Definitely term limits… Alam mo ‘yan ang ayaw ng…allergic ang taumbayan sa mga usaping politikal pagdating sa constitutional amendments,” he added.
In the first year of the incoming 19th Congress, Zubiri said they will prioritize in the Senate the measures to recover the country’s economy so that the government can provide employment to the people.
“‘Yun muna ang pag-usapan natin kasi galing tayong pandemya. Ang daming nahihirapan na mga kababayan natin, hindi pa tapos ang COVID-19. So we have to support the President and his health program sa darating na mga buwan,” the senator explained.
Charter change not a priority of the Senate – Zubiri
So far, Zubiri said the only issue related to Charter change they have discussed Senator Robin Padilla’s advocacy on federalism.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Sige, mag-set ka ng mga committee hearings. Of course, we will attend, and we will exchange our ideas with you’…That’s as far as we are talking about any talk about charter change,” said Zubiri.
Earlier, Zubiri advised Senator-elect Robin Padilla to study hard because of his possible leadership in the constitutional amendment in the Senate.
The senator also advised Padilla that he should know the legal terminologies because they are very complicated.
Zubiri also assured that the Senate would not be a “rubber stamp” or subservient to the Marcos administration.
“In the 18th Congress, I was also the majority leader sa leadership ng Senate. Never naging rubber stamp ang Senado. Marami po tayong mga panukala na sa tingin namin hindi sang-ayon sa ating bansa na itinulak po ng administrasyon,” said Zubiri.