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Senate, House move to end Cha-cha feud

By Ben R. Rosario

Congress leaders put an end to their bickering over contentious Charter change issues and agreed on Wednesday night to prioritize an agreement on the structure of the proposed federal government and other constitutional provisions requiring amendments.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez finally met to discuss issues that triggered a word war among congressmen and senators, particularly the disagreement over the mode of revising the 1987 Constitution and the manner of voting in case Charter revision is done through Constituent Assembly.

Apparently aware that the heated rhetoric that has transpired between senators and congressmen could jeopardize the Charter change bid, Pimentel and Alvarez agreed to tone down the word exchange.

Alvarez downplayed reports of a feud between the two chambers as he noted that he and Pimentel agreed that there was no really animosity that had divided them. “Actually ‘yung word war para sa media ‘yun, para naman medyo masaya tayo,” the House leader said.

Also attending the meeting were Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III and House Majority Leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo T. Farinas.

Pimentel and Alvarez, who occupy the highest posts in the administration party PDP-Laban, agreed to set aside any discussion on the voting scheme that will prevail when the Con-Ass is convened.

“Mag-uusap muna kami sa detalye, halimbawa ‘yung structure nung government, hanggang mabuo namin ‘yung Saligang Batas. Pagkatapos, kapag naman natapos kami ay it will not make any difference anymore if we vote separately or jointly,” Alvarez said.