More than 1,000 families from a town in Isabela province are poised to benefit from a housing project jointly implemented by the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the municipal government of Jones.
According to a report in state-owned news agency PNA, Arroyo agreed on voting separately, noting that she wanted to be able to “move forward” and “be realistic” to finally agree on the manner of voting for Charter Change (Cha-Cha).
“Better to move forward and achieve something rather than be stubborn and achieve nothing. We should move forward and the way to move forward is to agree to voting separately,” Arroyo said.
The Senate has collectively agreed on separate voting, saying a joint vote will be inconsistent with the bicameral nature of the Congress.
Before he was deposed, Alvarez, said the House would proceed with amending the 1987 Constitution even without the Senate’s participation, which irked lawmakers from the Upper House.
Puno, in the PNA report, described Arroyo’s decision to vote separately as “a major roadblock that has been removed.”
“That’s good. That is also my personal opinion when I appeared before the Committee of Senator (Francis) Kiko Pangilinan,” said Puno.
“That’s a major roadblock if that has been removed, so much the better. If it’s not separate voting, the Senate might not agree,” Puno said.
Last July 17, Puno told the Senate that a provision in the draft charter allows the House and Senate to vote separately on charter change.
However, Puno said he also respected the school of thought that the two chambers may vote jointly.
“There are some saying Con-con (constitutional convention) is better, there are some who want a hybrid Con-con but now they are using Con-ass,” Puno explained.
During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23, President Duterte was expected to formally endorse the draft Federal Constitution drafted by Concom to the Congress. However, he did not.
Puno said for him, Duterte’s mention of the new Constitution allowing a shift to a federal system of government in his SONA was already an endorsement in itself.
“For me, what he said about the draft Federal Constitution is enough. What kind of endorsement are we looking for when the next day, he formed an inter-agency group to conduct a massive information drive (on Federalism),” Puno said.
The inter-agency group, which will be led by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, will be in charge of explaining the benefits of Federalism to the country in a massive information drive.
“For me, that’s enough endorsement,” he added.
ConCom member and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. earlier said he was not disappointed since Duterte still had the opportunity to endorse it sometime else.
“Nothing prevents the Pres(ident) from vetting Congressional Action on the matter anytime he wants to do so,” he said.
Pimentel was confident that Duterte would eventually endorse the draft charter since a shift to a federal system of government is among his main thrusts after all.
“The issue is very much alive in the hearts and minds of the believers in the cause. And we know that the Pres(ident) is one of them,” Pimentel said.
Mayor Sara posted a rebuttal against Trillanes’ claim on Facebook and Instagram, telling the senator to leave her alone.
“LEAVE ME ALONE, Senator Trillanes. The last time a person irked me, I made sure to make it difficult for him to bring me down,” she said, citing former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who was her opponent for the city’s mayoralty race in the 2010 elections. In that election, Duterte-Carpio won by over 200,000.
“Speaker Boy Nograles lost that election and was a billion pesos poorer,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio lambasted Trillanes who claimed that President Duterte has three options to stay in power: declare martial law and establish a revolutionary government, initiate a Charter change, or push the candidacy of his daughter, first in 2019 for the senatorial race, and for president in 2022 when Duterte’s term ends.
Trillanes made the speculations during the general assembly of Tindig Pilipinas, an opposition group formed last year to oppose some of President Duterte’s policies, including the administration’s push to amend the 1986 Constitution.
Trillanes was quoted in the report as saying: “Yung option C niya ay itutulak niya si Sara Duterte bilang pangulo sa 2022. Pero ang unang yugto niyan itutulak niya muna bilang senador sa 2019. Papayag ba tayo na Duterte forever (The President’s Option C is to push Sara Duterte for president in 2022. But first, he will push her for senator in 2019. Are we going to allow a Duterte forever)?”
Duterte-Carpio found these claims absurd.
“Leave me in peace in Davao City or else you and your friends will spend more than a billion in the 2022 Presidential elections just to make me insignificant. Let me repeat, do not bother me and my slot will be available for a yellow Senator for the 2019 elections,” Mayor Sara said in the same social media post.
If her father imagines Trillanes will be shot, Duterte-Carpio said she wanted him alive and in pain.
“I have been described as heartless by my mother, please do not anger me so that you may remain relevant for the future generation. And you should listen to my mother,” she added.
Trillanes has been lobbing allegations against President Duterte and some members of the First Family, ranging from unexplained wealth to other supposed irregularities.
Mayor Sara has been quoted joking in the past about eyeing a congressional seat, raising speculations that she plans to seek a higher post. However, the mayor made it clear that such statements were only aimed at teasing opponents. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)