CONGRESSMEN on Tuesday asked senators to fast-track their push to change the 1987 Constitution before they get busy in the campaign for midterm elections next year.

House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose M. Dalipe noted that proposals to amend the Charter usually fizzle out in the second half of any administration. “That’s why we have this sense of urgency,” he told a news briefing.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara on Monday said the Senate seeks to finish proposing changes to the Constitution by October.

Mr. Dalipe said the “election fever” is about to start and the Charter change (“Cha-cha”) push could get politicized.

The Commission on Elections has set the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2025 midterm elections for October.

“We are surprised why all of a sudden Senator Angara mentioned an October [deadline,]” Bataan Rep. Geraldine B. Roman told the briefing.

The congressmen cited Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri’s earlier announcement that Charter change deliberations in the Senate should be done before the Holy Week break next month.

Senators on Monday started hearings on its Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, which seeks to ease foreign ownership restrictions in the Constitution.

Congressmen on Monday adopted House Resolution No. 1562, backing Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez “in the face of intense assault by the Senate” after he was linked to a signature campaign to change the Charter through a so-called people’s initiative.

Tensions between the two chambers heightened after Senator Maria Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos accused the Speaker, her cousin, and several congressmen of being behind the distribution of P20 million in cash to gather signatures for Charter change.

House Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio D. Gonzales, Jr. said the resolution was filed to express the House of Representatives’ collective sentiment amid “ongoing attacks on the Speaker and the institution.”

He noted that during a caucus last week, congressmen were angered by the remarks of several senators against Mr. Romualdez and the chamber.

“We in the leadership need to temper the situation,” Mr. Gonzales said. “Hence, we agreed to draft and release a House resolution to convey our collective sentiment.”

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) would not intervene in the people’s initiative until there is proof of bribery or coercion, chief Benjamin C. Acorda, Jr. told a palace briefing.

“As long as there is no coercion, bribery or anything that is tantamount to violation of the law or the intent of the Constitution, the PNP cannot come in,” he said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz