Pimentel, 12 senators urged to withdraw federalism bill in Senate
The anti-Charter Change (Chacha) group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday asked opposition senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and 12 other senators who introduced the federalism bill to withdraw their respective sponsorship of the controversial bill to stop allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from using it to effectively compel senators to attend the Constituent Assembly, as a mode to revise the 1987 Constitution.
In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap appealed to Sen. Pimentel and 12 other senators to withdraw the federalism bill because the House of Representatives is now using it as a leverage to entice Senate to join the Arroyo-dominated Congress in pushing Con-Ass as a mean to change the 1987 charter and allow President Arroyo to perpetuate herself to power beyond 2010.
“The Senate is being blackmailed by President Arroyo and her puppets in the House of Representatives, and this political blackmail is being done to score a giant kill against the collective sentiment and national interest of the Filipino people,” said Hicap.
On the other hand, Hicap said he was hopeful and optimistic Pimentel and the 12 other senators who sponsored the federalism bill will do the appropriate action, adding that the veteran lawmaker was saddened that this federalism bill which Pimentel stressed as a very good measure can’t move forward because of the devious intent on the part of some people.
Likewise the Pamalakaya leader asked the presidentiables—Senator Manuel Villar, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Mar Roxas, Senator Francis Escudero, Vice-President Noli de Castro, former President Joseph Estrada, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and Jesus is the Lord Fellowship leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva to make a categorical statement condemning the plan of the House of Representatives to dangle the federalism bill to attract senators in joining the Con-Ass.
“The presidential wannabes in 2010 should add their voice in pushing the authors and sponsors of federalism bill to withdraw their sponsorship. That’s one of the presidentiables’ immediate concerns if they wish to stop Arroyo and company from pushing Con-Ass and stopping the scheduled 2010 elections,”
House Speaker Prospero Nograles in a press conference on Monday announced that the Lower House leadership will invite senators to sit with the congressmen in a Constituent Assembly after President Arroyo deliver her State of the Nation Address on July 27.
The federalism bill filed in 2008 ahead of House Resolution No. 1109 and House Resolution No.737 seeks to create 11 states with the National Capital Region (NCR) as the seat of power under the bicameral form of government.
Speaker Nograles said the Con-Ass will be convened to tackle the Senate federalism bill along with the Speakers HR 737 which allows 100 foreign ownership of land in the country and removes all restrictions to foreign investments.
“Senator Pimentel and 12 other senators behind the federalism bill have no option to but permanently or temporarily archive the federalism proposal because it is now clear President Arroyo and her allies in Congress will exploit it for Con-Ass and allow term extension of the President and other incumbent elected officials for their own sinister agenda and cruel intentions,” the Pamalakaya leader said. #