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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 1, 2018
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WV officials called
to join cha-cha gab


Governors and mayors of Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, have been invited to attend a consultation hearing on the proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution at the Cebu provincial Capitoltoday.

This was confirmed by Silay Mayor Mark Golez last night who said he only learned of the meeting yesterday and wouldnot be able to attend because of prior commitments.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who was out of town, was not aware of the meeting.

The invitation to the meeting was disseminated by the Department of Interior and Local Government on the request of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes.

Meanwhile, a Negros Occidental-based broad coalition will push aggressively against any attempt by Congress to railroad Charter Change, former governor Rafael Coscolluela said yesterday.

He said they will study the Consultative Committee’s proposed amendments to the Constitution for a shift towards a presidential federal form of government as soon as they are made public.

“We will go through a series of fora to educate the people about this development,” he said.

Members of the broad coalition met with Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon and he said the Church position is that the people must be properly informed on the proposed amendments to the Constitution so they can make an informed decision.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has said the cha-cha process should be transparent andparticipative, the bishop said.

Coscolluela said they are against amending the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly, because they don’t think there will be a proper consultative process.

Cha-cha will be very susceptible to railroading similar to how Congress railroaded the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, he said.

He said members of the broad coalition do not have a common position on cha-cha, as there are some still open to seeing what is being proposed.

However, there is very strong opposition to the so-called insertions during the transitory period where term limits could be removed and virtual dictatorial powers granted to the president, Coscolluela said.

He said their broad coalition will be formally launched at their first forum on cha-cha this month.*CPG


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