Support for economic 'cha-cha' waning?

Posted at 08/13/2014 2:02 PM

MANILA - Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian now has second thoughts on backing amendments to the 1987 Constitution amid calls for the lifting of the term limit of the president.

In a statement, Gatchalian said: “We could be treading on dangerous ground if we open the Constitution to amendments for economic provisions since there are also moves within the Lower House to include the lifting of the term limit for the President of the Republic.”

Gatchalian is a stalwart of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC), which is part of the House majority.

He noted reports that several members of the ruling Liberal Party want to lift the six-year term limit of the president.

“What will prevent LP congressmen from pushing for amendments to term limits of all elected officials if they are able to secure the lifting of the term limit for the President?” he asked.

He said his support for amendments are only on the economic provisions.

“Clearly, if the president's allies will continue pushing for an extension of his term, it will derail efforts to attract foreign investments and create much-needed jobs, and ultimately damage the country's economic prospects," he said.

He said he is for amending economic provisions, except for the lifting of restrictions on foreign ownership of land.

“But with the aggressive moves of some LP congressmen to push for the lifting of the term limit for the President, I am now having second thoughts and might oppose Charter Change altogether for fear that not only the term limit for the President will be lifted but also for other elected officials,” Gatchalian said.