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Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has urged the public to trust lawmakers’ motives in pursuing Charter Change (Cha Cha) amid concerns it will result in a dictatorial rule by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan Saturday (January 6), Andanar said Cha Cha will go through a process to ensure it is done in accordance with existing laws.

“Alam ninyo, you just have to trust. You just have to trust your congressmen. You have to trust your senators. Alam ninyo ang magdi-decide naman ng federalism, unang-una mayroong Constitutional Commission ‘di ba, gagawin iyong batas na iyon,” he said when asked what Malacañang will do to ensure there will not be a dictatorship.

As for concerns that Cha Cha will be used to extend Duterte’s term, Andanar noted that no less than the President himself had said he will step down once a new Constitution has been in place.

“Base sa kaniya, ano pa ba ang gusto natin? Ano pa bang assurance ang gusto natin? Sinabi na ni Presidente na bababa na siya sa puwesto once na pumasa ito bilang batas at pagbago ng ating porma ng gobyerno,” he said.

Duterte’s allies in Congress are stepping up calls to amend the 1987 Constitution to change the form of government into a federal type.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III had said that prolonging Duterte’s term may be necessary as part of the transition process to federalism.