Aquino against Charter change but willing to listen to Enrile, BelmonteBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino is firmly against amending the Constitution but a spokesperson for the Chief Executive said discussions with congressional leaders who want him to change his mind won’t necessarily be futile.
“It’s never futile for allies to sit down and discuss things,” Lacierda said when asked if Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte’s announced bid to convince the President about the need for constitutional amendments would be useless.
Lacierda said at Friday afternoon’s regular new briefing at the Palace that Aquino remained firm in his belief that the Constitution did not need any amendment even ostensibly to improve the country’s chances at economic development.
“The President is willing to discuss; as for the outcome, let’s wait and see,” Lacierda said. “It’s always good to hear the side of others.”
Abigail Valte, Lacirda’s deputy, said Malacañang respected Enrile’s resolve in pushing for Charter change.
Asked if it was a sign of desperation that the 88-year-old Enrile wanted to discuss Constitutional amendments with the President even if over a drink, Valte said, “That is not desperation. It is a figure of speech by the Senate President JPE.”
“If at all, it shows his firm belief in the need to amend the Constitution and his desire to discuss the matter with the President, which we respect,” she added.