Senator-elect Robin Padilla expressed dismay Sunday that former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda took issue with his proposal to tweak the economic provisions of the Constitution.
Padilla said it felt wrong that Lacierda took the liberty of dealing him unsolicited advice when he has the trust of the Filipino people as the No. 1 elected senator last 9 May with 26.5 million votes.
“Now that the people have trusted us, you are advising us on the things we should do. That’s not right. You had your time. It’s our time, isn’t it? Perhaps we can try my proposal,” Padilla said.
Earlier, Padilla said some of the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution should be amended to attract more foreign investments into the country, including not limiting foreign ownership of local companies at 40 percent.
He lamented that the “60-40” Filipino-foreign ownership rule enshrined in the Constitution benefits only local oligarchs.
“It is now time to accept more foreign investments. We have to make it fair. This is too much. Local oligarchs are getting richer. The poor could not feel any progress,” Padilla said on Facebook Live Saturday.
Lacierda derided Padilla’s proposal saying it can be done through a “simple legislation” without opening the Constitution to tampering through Charter change (Cha-cha).
The spokesperson of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino said amending the Constitution is a “more tortuous path” that would “open other provisions to change.”
“Not to mention it takes longer to do the Cha-cha,” Lacierda said. “And lastly, it has to go through a referendum. That’s a long and costly process,” Lacierda said.
But for Padilla, lifting the 60-40 foreign ownership restriction on local companies would benefit the Filipino people.
“The rich get richer because of the 1987 Constitution. The poor get poorer because they could not feel the benefits of foreign investments. Let us not pretend that we are better off without foreign investments,” he said.
Padilla’s proposal mirrors House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s Resolution of Both Houses 2, which the House adopted in June with 251 affirmative votes, 21 negative votes, and two abstentions.