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Fools rush in: I’m not against federalism, I just want to take it slow – Robredo

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Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday said she was not totally against constitutional change but she wanted more time and resources devoted to making sure that Filipinos understand what they were getting into.

“Hindi ako proponent ng ‘for’ or ‘against’, pero proponent ako na maging balanced ang discussions, proponent ako na maging balanced lahat (I am not a proponent of ‘for’ or ‘against’ but I am a proponent of having the discussions about it to be balanced),” Robredo said In a speech at the Pakasaritaan 2018 Conference in Baguio City.

Robredo said constitutional change is a serious matter which should not be “based on emotions” about the current situations in the country.

“Totoong may frustrations tayo, sino namang wala? Pero hindi tayo pwedeng magpapalit ng konstitusyon na iilan lang ang nag-uusap. Pagbobotohan ito ng taong bayan di ba in a plebiscite? So dapat naiintindihan ng mga tao ang pingabobotohan nila,” Robredo said.

She opposed the supposed fast-tracking of the House of Representatives to create a body that would be converted into a constituent assembly because she wanted all Filipinos to be aware of why and how they were changing the Constitution.

“Ang isang common sa kanila ay lahat sila advocates, para sa akin medyo mali yun. Kasi ang first question for them to ask themselves is, do they need a constitutional change, pero kung ang lahat ng members ay advocates ng constitutional change, na-set aside na ang question na yun… that takes away the kind of healthy discourse,” Robredo said.

“Hindi ko ina-advocate buwagin ang consultative commission…but to expand the membership…it should include people who think otherwise para mabalanse ang usapan,” Robredo added.

Robredo opposed the move to set a deadline for the consultation when it has not even started yet.

“May deadline daw, dapat matapos bago mag-SONA para maisama na sa SONA ng president. Para sa akin napakahalaga ba ng change of form of government para bigyan mo ng deadline?…Kung hindi pa man nagsisimula ang consultation tapos may deadline na, ang chances, magiging haphazard ito tulad ng nangyari sa 1973 Constitution,” Robredo said. (PNA)