SONA 2013
Latest Stories

Aquino can’t stop Charter change moves—Palace


Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino, for now, can’t stop Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte from pushing through with efforts to amend the Constitution.

Despite the President’s avowed objections to tinkering with the Constitution adopted in 1987 during his mother’s watch, the present legislature could—if it so desires—unilaterally proceed with Charter change.

In a Palace briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte pointed to the independence of Congress in pursuing Charter amendments.

“(Congress) is independent. They can move as they will,” said Valte, adding that it would depend on the President’s political allies in Congress whether or not to support the Charter change initiative, or follow the President’s wishes.

When asked about Mr. Aquino’s silence on the issue in his third State of the Nation Address (Sona), Valte said: “Again, let’s not take the Sona as the end-all and the be-all of the President’s commitment to anything.”

The absence of the Charter change issue in the Sona was not an implicit endorsement of the renewed drive, she emphasized.

“On the contrary, the President has elucidated, has emphasized his position on Charter Change many times … The President has spoken a number of times on this particular issue and it’s clear that amending the Constitution is not a priority of (his administration),” she said.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives separately convened its third regular session on Monday before Mr. Aquino faced the joint session to deliver his State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

In their opening speeches, the Senate President and House Speaker made a pitch for Charter change, with Enrile vowing to stop any proposal for term extensions for elected officials.

Valte said the Palace expected the two congressional leaders, who vowed to make Charter change a priority, to hold a dialogue with the President.

“We don’t know what will be the result (of the dialogue). What the President said is it’s part of the democratic free space that he will listen to their side of the story. So, at this point, we do not know if that can be changed or not or … the President will listen because (we’re in a) democracy. We don’t know the end result. But, again, the President has reiterated his position that it is not his priority.”

The President has reservations about any Charter amendment, fearful that once allowed, this would open up the Constitution to a slew of amendments.

However, Enrile and Belmonte claimed that they were only after the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution, particularly on the ban on total foreign ownership of certain sectors of the economy.

Senator Manuel Villar Jr. registered the lone dissenting voice following the opening session at the Senate, telling reporters that the President’s imprimatur, especially in such a monumental task of amending or overhauling the Constitution, was important.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

SONA 2013

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino , Charter change , Congress , Constitution , Feliciano Belmonte , Government , Juan Ponce Enrile , legislature , Politics , Senate , SONA 2012

  • http://www.pulisnapogi.blogspot.com/ Pulis Na Pogi

    as in?  hahaha.  do you think juan de la cruz will believe this pos?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RQA6QOCLGYRYDTZ4E7VMYY2KFA g

    can’t or won’t???? gagawin na nilang legal ang panghihimasok hindi lang ng China kundi ng US at iba pang makapangyarihan bansa. Una-unahan na ang mga politiko sa pagbebenta ng Pilipinas sa mga banyaga, si PNoy kunyari matapang laban sa China pero bahag naman talaga ang bunot.

  • JuanTamadachi

    Let’s wait and see how this issue pans out..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OIV4YXLRIZLQH3ACMCCW7NRNJY Allan

    Magkakaibang branches ng gobyerno yan. Independent sila. Kumbaga, may sari-sarili silang pag-iisip. Hindi yan kontrolado ng iisang utak lang. Hay!!

    Kapag pinigilan ng Malacanang ang senate at congress, sasabihin nyo nakikialam ang malacanang sa dalawang branches.

    Ang hirap nyo spelengen.. :))

  • Joseph20112012

    Abolish the 60/40 equity restrictions from our 1987 constitution and allow 100% foreign equity ownership of a businesses at all economic sectors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Monopoly/134038403339475 88Cindy

    ang dami na nating Constitution. Palit ng palit.
    Kulelat pa rin tayo sa ating mga karatig bansa.
    Pero ang mga pulitiko, ay sila pa rin.
    Panahon pa ni Marcos sila nakaupo.
    Baka naman sila ang dapat palitan at hindi ang Constitution.
    Magpapa-uto na naman ba tayo?

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Magnitude 6.7 quake off British Columbia coast
  • Blue ribbon committee not yet recalling Napoles
  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Sports

  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace