People to decide on Charter amendments, Palace says

Published June 3, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The people will still make the decision on whether to approve or reject certain amendments to the 1987 Constitution being proposed by Congress, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque recognized that Congress has the prerogative to introduce changes to the Charter but such proposed amendments will still depend on the approval of the people.

“Unang-una po ‘no, iyong pagpo-propose ng amendments ay nasa hurisdiksyon at katungkulan po ng ating Kongreso ‘no dahil sila po ay bumubuo ng constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. Trabaho po talaga nila iyon. Wala naman pong kinalaman ang Presidente diyan (First, proposing amendments is under the jurisdiction and responsibility of Congress because they form the constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. That’s their job. The President has nothing to do with that),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Thursday, June 3.

“Taumbayan po ang magdidesisyon kung sila po ay papabor sa mga amendments na ipu-propose (The people will make the decision if they are in favor of the proposed amendments),” he added.

Roque also denied anew that the President was seeking to extend his term through Charter reforms. He maintained that Duterte has no intention of prolonging his stay beyond June 2022.

“Wala pong proposal sa ngayon ang nagsasabi na palalawigin ang termino ng ating Presidente (There is no proposal to extend the President’s term),” he said.

“So wala pong basehan iyong sinasabi na mayroong desperadong tangka para mapanatili sa kapangyarihan. Hinding-hindi po mananatili bilang presidente si Presidente Duterte beyond his term of office in June 30 of next year (So there is no basis to the allegation that there is a desperate attempt to stay in power. President Duterte will not stay beyond his term of office in June 30 of next year),” he added.

The House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution’s “restrictive” economic provisions by allowing legislators to revise foreign participation in sectors.

The Senate, on the other hand, seemed not in a rush to discuss proposed Charter reforms. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said senators might discuss the issue after President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.