Congressman Edgar Erice has withdrawn his bill seeking a Charter Change (ChaCha) aimed into providing President Noynoy Aquino a chance to run for a second term as presently prohibited by the 1987 Constitution. In a speech at the Congress’ Session hall on Tuesday, Erice said that he now backs off on his intent to include political provisions in an earlier filed ChaCha bill by Speaker Sonny Belmonte seeking economic provisions in the charter.
In his speech, Erice highlighted a protest that erupted in his district office at Caloocan City lead by militant and anti- ‘pork barrel’ groups. Members of Bayan Metro Manila staged a noise barrage at Erice’s office calling for him to retract his ‘term extension’ bill for the Representative has not consulted his constituents on such legislative measure. Holding placards that bear “Shut up Erice!” and “Erice, defender of the Pork Barrel King,” the protesters stayed in front of the Congressman’s office for half an hour and left.
Erice was irked by the protest and said that his filing of the ‘term extension’ bill is but a part of his “freedom of expression,” the militant groups are known to be staunch defenders of. He blasted the Makabayan bloc in Congress known to be allies of the militant groups that staged the protest in front of his office, and said that they have had working relations with the ‘Anti Dynasty Bill’ and several other bills in Congress. But he did not expect such protest to be hurled against him.
The Makabayan bloc however said that the ChaCha is but an imperialist dictate into the country for the foreign capitalists to be able to pour in their capital and exploit the nation’s wealth less the Filipinos’ benefits, and that the term extension for the President will just be a bonus into pushing for such measure. The economic provisions on the charter has been pushed by Speaker Belmonte early this year and lately at the height of the DAP controversy, Congressman Erice and the President himself floated the idea of including political revisions in the Constitution.
After Erice’s speech, the session was cut short when United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Spokesperson and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco hit back at Erice for his accusations of Vice President Binay’s alleged corruption issues, particularly the suspected ‘overpriced’ Makati City Hall Building 2. Tiangco then asked the Speaker to strike out on the official minutes, the accusations of Erice but was not granted following objection from Erice.
– Manila Today