Solon urges prexy bets to speak on ‘Cha-Cha’

March 18, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 85 views

PAMPANGA Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. on Friday urged presidential aspirants to reveal their stand on what he called political Charter change (Cha-cha) he and other lawmakers are advocating through constitutional amendments.

Gonzales appealed ahead of the presidential debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 19, today.

Among other changes in the Constitution, Gonzales is pushing for having two five-year terms for the president, instead of a single six-year tenure, and tandem voting or election as a team for the president and vice president.

He is also proposing two five-year terms for members of the House of Representatives (HOR) and local officials, in place of a three-year, three-term reign.

“I and House members and local officials supporting my proposals would like to hear the stand of our candidates on these suggested changes in our Charter, particularly the two five-year terms for the president,” Gonzales said.

He said the proposed two terms would allow a popular chief executive to seek reelection and to implement and pursue his programs over a 10-year period.

“It will provide continuity for a president who is attaining economic progress and development, and peace and a better life for our people,” Gonzales said.

On the other hand, an unpopular president could be voted out of office after five years, instead of the nation waiting for another year for his six-year stint to expire, he added.

Gonzales pointed out that self-interest or conflict of interest would not be an issue if the presidential aspirants bare their stand on political Cha-cha “because the two-term proposal if it were approved as a Charter amendment, will not apply to the candidate who will win in May.”

“It is the six-year term that will apply because the next president will still be elected under the present Constitution, which has not been amended in almost 36 years since 1986,” Gonzales stressed.

The Pampanga lawmaker revealed that there is a lot of interest and support for his proposals among his colleagues in the HOR and among governors, mayors, and other local officials and their constituents.

“So we would like to know the views of our candidates on our advocacies,” he said.

To avoid accusations of self-interest as the Cha-cha proponents’ motivation, Gonzales is proposing that elected officials who are on their last term of office be banned from running in the first election in case Cha-cha succeeds.

He would be covered by such a ban, as he is running for his third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s third district. He has no opponent.

Gonzales has vowed to re-file his political Cha-cha resolution on Day 1 of the incoming 19th Congress, on July 1, less than two months after the May 9 elections.

He urged Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian to re-introduce his Cha-cha resolution on tandem voting for president and vice president, in case he is reelected to the Senate.

Tandem voting means a vote for the president is also a vote for his vice-presidential running mate.

“It will promote unity between the two top officials of the land,” Gonzales said.