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Gloria’s Cha-cha Train Revs Up

August 13, 2008

Waving the federalism flag and courting the guarded support of  like-minded senators of the partition-threatened Philippine realm, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is revving up the engines of her charter change train.

Federalism’s premier promoter, Senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel is, however, tooting his warning horn early, declaring the the removal of term limits “will not be in the Cha-cha wish list for both Mrs. Arroyo and any other elected official who tenures are expiring in 2010.

Pimentel says he has specified in the very title of the Senate resolution the limited scope of the Cha-cha train itinerary so that it will not have ‘side trips’ that will tinker with other contentious changes in the 1987 fundamental law.

Pimentel also bellows that the Senate and House of Representatives will vote separate and not as a single chamber when they convenes as a constituent assemly.

But those are parameters as far as Pimentel is concerned. He himself is the first to admit that in this early stage of GMA’s Cha-cha push, the administration-controlled House could still throw in various alternate resolutions to complicate the debates before the two houses of Congress are able to pass an acceptable constituent assembly measure before theCha-cha train leaves the station.

Citizen vigilance will be most crucial, with the militants certain to be manning the front lines of mass actions in the parliament of the streets.

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