President Marcos Uncertain About the Future of People’s Initiative in Cha-cha

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with First Lady Marie Louise Araneta Marcos offers a toast to Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and  First Lady Phan Thi Thanh Tam during the state banquet at the International Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam on January 30, 2024. The Philippines signed a five-year deal with Vietnam to ensure steady supply of affordable rice to the country as global prices of the staple continue to surge. KJ ROSALES/PPA POOL
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HANOI, Vietnam: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed uncertainty regarding the status of the controversial People’s Initiative as one of the options his administration is considering for implementing changes in the economic provisions of the Constitution. He acknowledged that the People’s Initiative has become a subject of political manipulation, leading to division between the two houses of Congress. As a result, President Marcos has sought the guidance of the country’s esteemed legal experts to explore alternative solutions that can be implemented without causing excessive controversy.

During a roundtable discussion with the Malacañang Press Corps at the Melia Hotel, President Marcos highlighted the importance of consulting former Justices, including Chief Luke (Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin), as well as their legal counsel and constitutionalists. He emphasized the need to gather insights and opinions from these experts to determine the best course of action.

While specific details have yet to be finalized, President Marcos assured that his administration is actively working on resolving the conflict between the Senate and the House of Representatives. He acknowledged that the legislature operates on a bicameral system, which implies that both houses vote separately. The challenge lies in finding a way to preserve the role of each house within this system. President Marcos and his team are currently exploring various options to address this issue.

Regarding the People’s Initiative, President Marcos admitted that no concrete decisions have been made yet. While the initiative is still ongoing, he expressed uncertainty about whether it remains a viable option for his administration. This uncertainty reflects the need for further deliberation and careful consideration of all available options.

The President’s visit to Hanoi also includes meetings with leaders from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. These discussions aim to foster dialogue and find common ground to resolve the conflict surrounding the proposed constitutional changes. President Marcos emphasized the importance of receiving expert advice and conducting thorough analysis to ensure that the bicameral system’s integrity is maintained.

In conclusion, President Marcos Jr. acknowledges the challenges and controversies surrounding the People’s Initiative for constitutional changes. He is actively seeking insights and guidance from legal luminaries and constitutionalists to explore alternative solutions that can be implemented without causing further discord. While the specific details and decisions are yet to be finalized, President Marcos remains committed to preserving the bicameral system’s integrity and finding a resolution that benefits the nation as a whole.

Source: The Manila Times

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