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Senate panel to submit report on charter change

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Senator Francis N. Pangilinan

By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

THE SENATE Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, chaired by Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, is set to file its committee report on the proposed shift to a federal government when sessions resume on May 20.

“We will file the report; whether we will tackle it or not, we will see,” Senator Pangilinan said in a briefing, Thursday.

Mr. Pangilinan did not yet disclose the findings of the report as he has yet to discuss it with members of the committee.

“Hintayin natin, dapat makita muna ng mga senador,” the Senator said when asked if the report will recommend revising or amending the 1987 Constitution. (Let’s wait. It has to be reviewed first by the Senators).

This comes amid doubts the proposed charter change can still hurdle the Senate in the 17th Congress, considering the limited time it has left before it adjourns.

Congress is currently on a Feb. 9-May 19 break, amid the election campaign leading to the midterm polls on May 13. It will resume sessions from May 20 to June 7, a period of nine session days to work on the remaining measures. All unfinished legislative matters will need to be re-filed in the 18th Congress, which will open on July 22.

When asked about the chances of the federal shift in the next Congress, Mr. Pangilinan said it will depend on the discretion of the incumbent senators and the newly elected senators who will join them after the midterm polls.

“Well, it’s going to be a new Senate, so I will leave the answer to that question to the new set of senators sa susunod na (of the next) Congress,” he said.

“I would rather leave this now to the next Congress kasi (because) it’s better that way.”

The House of Representatives, for its part, had already approved on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses No. 15, which embodies its draft federal constitution.

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