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Bato dela Rosa believes Marcos has no secret order to push Cha-cha in Congress

Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa expressed belief Friday that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has no secret order for Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"Tingnan natin 'yung personalidad ng ating Pangulo. Hindi naman duplicitous 'yung kanyang personalidad. 'Pag sinabi niyang hindi niya priority, maniwala tayo na hindi niya priority," Dela Rosa said  in an interview on Dobol B TV.

The lawmaker made the remark when asked about Albay Representative Edcel Lagman's statement saying the President "must have given his covert assert to Cha-cha even as he appears to be distancing himself from it."

“There must be an overwhelming furtive reason why the Cha-cha caravan is rolling fast in the House of Representatives despite President Marcos’ avowal that Charter change is not in his priority agenda,” Lagman said.

“It is not that members of the supermajority coalition have finally learned to be independent of the Executive.  Perhaps, it is because the President must have given his covert assent to Cha-cha even as he appears to be distancing himself from it,” he added.

Earlier, Marcos said Charter change is not a priority of his administration.

Despite the President's statement, House constitutional amendments panel on Monday approved an unnumbered Resolution of Both Houses calling for a constitutional convention (con-con) for amending the 1987 Constitution.

In the Upper Chamber, administration ally Senator Robin Padilla is still pushing for the amendment of the economic provisions of the Charter.

Padilla, who chairs the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, argued that amending the Constitution is not dependent on the endorsement of the sitting president.

But Dela Rosa said introducing amendments is "wishful thinking" especially now that Malacañang is "lukewarm" towards Cha-cha.

"Last Congress nga ay isa 'yan sa kagustuhan ng [dating] Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte na ma-amend ang Constitution, nagpakita siya ng support but then again nothing happened," he said.

"How much more ngayon na ang Malacañang ay lukewarm towards Cha-cha. Mahirap maka-gain ng traction," he added.

On Thursday, Dela Rosa said he is still undecided if he will fully support the move to amend the Constitution in Congress due to lack of support from other senators.

Should move to amend the Charter prosper, the senator said he wants to abolish the party-list system as he believes that it is abused by some politicians.

Dela Rosa is a member of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes.—AOL, GMA Integrated News