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Give it a chance – Javi on ChaCha

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Stressing that it would still the people who will decide, Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, chairs of the Association of Chief Executives of Negros Occidental, yesterday said that the Charter Change should be given a chance.

“Let’s give people the chance to say what they want of the Charter Change,” Benitez said, as the signature campaign to amend the 1987 Constitution through a People’s Initiative, is currently ongoing in the different towns and cities of Negros Occidental.

He added “We should have debates about the ChaCha now. We should be talking to the Senate, congressmen, local leaders, especially the people, about what we want to happen for our country.”

Confirming that 15 mayors in Negros Occidental are supporting Charter Change, Benitez said the People’s Initiative is really just the opening of conversation about ChaCha.

“We should have to talk about it. We should not shoot down an idea right away. We should give it a chance. What does it mean? What provisions of the Constitution that we have to improve, economic or political provisions”, he added.

Asked regarding talk of government programs being offered for people who will sign the People’s Initiative to amend the Constitution, Benitez denied it is happening in Victorias City.

A campaign to withdraw signatures supporting the move to amend the 1987 Constitution has been also launched over the weekend, and local Church leaders have condemned the alleged practice in gathering signatures in Negros Occidental where social assistance is used as leverage, which they described as morally reprehensible.

While we can have the best leaders and experts, if the system is not allowing for more development for our country, province or city, then we have to revisit it, Benitez said, apparently referring to the 1987 Constitution.

“I think we should give it a chance. At the end of the day, it is the people who will decide”, he added.*

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