Joker: Charter change 'bound to fail'

Posted at 09/05/2014 9:24 PM

MANILA - The drive to amend the Constitution through a 3/4 vote of all members of the Congress is "bound to fail," former Senator Joker Arroyo said.

Arroyo said in the House of Representatives, a 3/4 vote or 75 percent would be easily attainable. Even 4/5 (80 percent) or 5/6 (83 percent) would be possible given the present make up in the House, he said.

However, the Aquino administration is not likely to get a 3/4 vote, equivalent to 18 members, in the Senate.

"The numbers game will be a repeat of the Corona impeachment trial," Arroyo said, referring to former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

"It was a long drawn-out continuous trial, 4 1/2 months, not because the presentation of evidence on both sides was necessary but because the Senate leadership had to drag it out until they were sure they had mustered the 16 votes, necessary to satisfy the 2/3 vote," he said.

Arroyo noted that once the 16 votes had been achieved, the impeachment trial was then "speeded-up and concluded."

"Final score 20-3. Watch out," he said.

The House of Representatives is currently deliberating on Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 (RBH 1), which seeks to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Some lawmakers are also pushing for political Charter change to lift the ban on the one-term limit for the president.