MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, July 9, said revising the 1987 Constitution is seen to convince any disgruntled uniformed men not to stage a coup d'etat against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Ang premise noon, under the Constitution, the AFP is the protector of the people. So kung ang military, alam nila na maraming kalokohan, maraming korapsyon, gaya nga ng sinabi ni Presidente, 'yung sa Manila Water, 'yung mga kontrata, masyadong onerous. Alam na ng military 'yun. So nagre-react sila doon, bakit ganyan," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
(The premise there is that under the Constitution, the AFP is the protector of the people. So if the military knows there are irregularities in rampant corruption, just like what the President said, the contract with Manila Water is onerous. The military knows that and they are reacting.)
"In other words, it's a fair warning to all na baka 'pag nagalit iyan, biglang mag-coup iyang mga iyan (In other words, it's a fair warning to all that the military may launch a coup d'etat if they get provoked by such circumstance)," he added.
On Monday, July 8, Duterte encouraged his allies at the House of Representatives to revise the 1987 Constitution as he noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) seemed to be losing patience over the rampant corruption in government.
Panelo justified Duterte's call, saying that pressing problems in the country such as corruption, terrorism, and rebellion may spur the military to launch a coup d'etat against the Commander-in-Chief.
"Sabi niya (Duterte said), 'You better amend the Constitution habang nandito pa ako, habang napapakiusapan ko pa 'yung armed forces na i-respeto ninyo (while I am here, while can still convince the armed forces to show respect),'" he said.
"You must remember that the history has shown us that when the Armed Forces of the Philippines rose and was supported by the people, eh nababago, nagkakaroon ng leadership change (there had been leadership change)," Panelo added.
The Palace official, however, made it clear that Duterte is not afraid of facing possible impeachment.
Panelo said Duterte merely wants to amend the Constitution to help him effectively address the problems being faced by the country.
"Maraming dapat na baguhin sa Saligang Batas. Hindi giving powers. Siguro, to limit the restraints, constitutional restraints imposed to certain branches of the government (The Constitution needs to be amended not to give powers to the President but perhaps, to limit the restraints, constitutional restraints imposed on certain branches of the government)," he said. (SunStar Philippines)