June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

House leaders slam Zubiri’s response to collaborative gesture on constitutional amendments 

HOUSE leaders have openly criticized Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, condemning his focus on a potential constitutional crisis rather than promoting constructive dialogue in response to Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez’s collaborative gesture on constitutional amendments.

“It is disheartening to see Senate President Zubiri jump to the conclusion of a constitutional crisis instead of embracing the spirit of collaboration put forth by Speaker Romualdez. We need dialogue, not doomsday predictions,” House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe said.

House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. scrutinized Zubiri’s rhetoric, arguing that rather than fostering unity and constructive engagement, the caution about a constitutional crisis only exacerbates an already contentious situation.

“This is a time for dialogue, not escalating tensions,” Gonzales pointed out.

Romualdez recently penned a letter to Zubiri, affirming the House’s commitment to adopt the Senate’s version of Resolution of Both Houses No. 6., which aims to amend the “restrictive” economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Zubiri initially responded with a warning of a potential constitutional crisis, alleging that the House persists in its efforts to initiate a people’s initiative for constitutional amendments—an allegation vehemently denied by the House leadership. 

The Senate President further contended that the ongoing signature drive is not only flawed but also unconstitutional.

Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. David “Jayjay” Suarez underscored the imperative for a collaborative effort between the House and the Senate on constitutional reforms, stressing that it is crucial for the benefit of the nation.

“Speaker Romualdez’s gesture of collaboration should be met with an open mind and a willingness to explore common ground. It is disappointing to witness a swift dismissal rather than an embrace of the opportunity for meaningful dialogue,” Suarez said.

Suarez also pointed out the potential consequences of Zubiri’s approach to the situation. 

“We risk further polarization and gridlock by prematurely labeling the situation as a constitutional crisis. The responsibility lies with both chambers to navigate this complex terrain with prudence and a commitment to the democratic process,” Suarez said.

Dalipe also shared Suarez’s views, stressing that a “constitutional crisis is not the path we should embark on.”

“Instead of fueling discord, we must engage in constructive dialogue to find a consensus that addresses the economic concerns without jeopardizing the stability of our constitutional framework,” Dalipe said.

Gonzales also underscored the urgency of a collaborative approach concerning the amendment of the fundamental law of the land.

“Our duty as public servants is to safeguard the interests of the people and the integrity of our institutions. Resorting to a constitutional crisis undermines the very essence of our democratic values,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales added: “Let us not be hasty in our actions. We owe it to the Filipino people to uphold the rule of law and ensure that any amendments are made within the bounds of our Constitution. This requires a collaborative effort and a commitment to preserving the democratic foundations that define our nation.”