MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robinhood Padilla and Leyte Rep. Richard Gomez on Thursday ramped up their call to amend the 1987 Constitution, specifically its economic provisions, likening their alliance to the biblical brothers Cain and Abel.
In a press conference through the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) — both of which are members — Padilla amplified his calls to amend the 1987 Constitution with Gomez.
“Hindi naman po kaila sa inyo ‘yan na kaming dalawa ang Cain at Abel, kaming dalawa ‘yan. Pero ngayon nandito kami magkasama kami hindi para sa pelikulang Pilipino kundi para sa taong bayan, para ipakita, sa ating mambabatas na hindi na ito issue ng senado o kongres, ito po ay issue ng pagunlad, totoong pagbabago” said Padilla.
(You know that we are Cain and Abel. But today, we are here together, not for the Filipino film industry but for the people to show our legislators that this is no longer an issue of the Senate or Congress. This is an issue of development and real change.)
During their time as actors, Padilla and Gomez reportedly had an altercation, which resulted in a fistfight during the annual Star Olympics in late 1990.
Padilla then blasted critics who he said are accusing them of being after fame.
“Sa mga nagsasabi sa’min na gusto naming sumikat… ano? Matagal na kaming sikat, hindi namin kailangan itong kasikatan, ang ginagawa namin para sa bayan,” he said.
(To those who tell me we want to be famous… what? We have been famous for a long time. We don’t need this fame. We are doing this for the people.)
When asked how they will fix the public’s trust issue on the charter change, Gomez denied that many people do not trust Congress.
“Iilan lang naman ang nagsasabi na they do not trust both [chambers] eh, but remember if the leaders will not move, hindi naman alam ng lahat ng tao kung ano gusto nila eh,” said Gomez.
(Only a few say that they do not trust both chambers, but remember, if the leaders will not move, not everyone knows what they want.)
“That’s why we were voted by the people, to be their leaders, to decide for them. ‘Yun ang role namin eh,” he added.
(That’s why we were voted by the people, to be their leaders, to decide for them. That’s our role.)
Padilla, meanwhile, said that the discussion on trust is “natural,” adding that he believes his fellow Senators are ready to amend the Constitution, which he said would bring the needed change to the country.
“Nasa paguusap na ‘yan sa leadership natin at ng dalawang kapulungan na ito (House and Senate), hindi naman siguro aabot ito sa punto na magkakaroon ng suliranin kasi naniniwala ako na ang aking mga kasamang Senador handa na amendahan ang konsitusyon, basta ang tama ang moda, walang lulusot na maaaring maabolish o mawala ang senado,” said Padilla.
(That is already in discussion with our leadership and these two assemblies, it may not reach the point where there will be a problem because I believe that my fellow Senators are ready to amend the Constitution as long as the mode is suitable, noting that will lead to any abolition, or lose the Senate would push through.)
“Para naman sa taong bayan, ‘yung tiwala, dito sa mundong inuukatan natin, pinagkatiwalaan niyo na po ‘yung 1987 Constitution ng 37 years, siguro pagkatiwalaan niyo naman po itong bagong sistema na magdadala sa atin sa pagbabago,” he added.
(As for the people, the trust, here in the world we live in, you have trusted the 1987 Constitution for 37 years, maybe it’s time that you trust this new system that will lead us to change.)
Padilla earlier filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 3, proposing that changes to the economic provisions of the Charter be made through a constitutional assembly where the Senate and House of Representatives will vote separately.
The House of Representatives later voted to amend the 1987 constitution through a constitutional convention.
But Gomez, in the same press briefing, declared that he had already convinced Speaker Martin Romualdez to support amendments through constitutional assembly.
Meanwhile, many senators continue to express their position that there is no need for constitutional amendments, citing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who said it is not a priority. EDV/abc
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