Palace open to Charter change: senior official-A A +A
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
MANILA -- A political adviser of President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday that Malacañang is open to amending the Constitution only if the proposals would fit with the administration's reform agenda.
Presidential adviser on political affairs Ronald Llamas said the Chief Executive would probably give his nod to Charter change especially if he sees the proposed measures helpful in achieving government's reform objectives.
"If they fit with President's reform agenda, and are necessary, then they can be considered," Llamas said.
He said the administration is entertaining the possibility of amending 1987 Constitution, but said "any proposal must undergo rigorous evaluation and must be shown to be in line with and indispensable towards achieving the administration's reform objectives."
Llamas said Charter change cannot simply be about change for its own sake but specific proposals will have to be assessed and evaluated.
The Palace official made the statement following reports that House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will discuss Charter change in a meeting.
Enrile proposed earlier to amend the Constitution to allow the increase in military spending and enable the country to deal better with security issues such as defending the Philippine territorial waters in the West Philippines Sea.
Belmonte, on the other hand, said the House of Representatives would only be amenable to amending the Constitution's economic provisions and will not entertain political amendments.
Several lawmakers believed that Congress does not have enough time to discuss Charter change due to budget deliberations and the upcoming 2013 midterm elections.
But Belmonte is positive to push for Constitutional amendment, saying that all they need is Aquino's blessings.
Aquino earlier said that amending the Constitution is not a priority of his administration. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said this position remains the same.
Llamas, meanwhile, said the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill remains a priority legislation of the administration.
He added that while the Freedom of Information is still not a priority bill, it is likewise high on the list of measures being given serious study and consideration. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)