MANILA, Philippines – Preferring economic amendments over political ones is not something to be worried about, Malacanang said on Tuesday, in reaction to varying statements of congressmen allied with President Benigno Aquino III.
While reports said there are some who want to block the amendment of the constitution because of political issues, including the term extension of the president, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said it does not mean that there was disagreement.
“Wala naman tayong nakikitang suliranin o hidwaan. Sa atin pong pagkaalam ay patuloy pa rin ‘yung pagkakaisa ng koalisyon doon sa Kamara at ‘yung pagsunod po sa programa ng pamahalaan,” Coloma said of the Liberal Party and its allies.
(We don’t see any problem or conflict. As far as we know, the coalition in Congress remains united and continues to follow the program of the government.)
He said prioritizing economic bills was also in line with the adminsitration’s priority measures.
“Malaking bahagi ng mga measure na ‘yon ay patungkol sa economic development. Kaya kung ‘yung mga iniisip din nilang mga reporma ay naka-align doon, siguro masasabi naman natin na nagkakatugma rin ng direksyon,” Coloma said.
(A large part of our priority measures refer to economic development. So if the reforms they are pushing for are aligned with that, then we are going in the same direction.)
Asked if Malacanang supports the said political amendments to the Constitution, Coloma pointed out that there is a legislative process that is being followed.
He said they will leave it up to the lawmakers to decide and go through the said process.
Open but not seriously considering
Coloma also clarified that while Aquino, during an exclusive interview with TV5, said that his mind was once closed to the possibility of charter change and that recent situations made him more open to it, it does not mean that he will pursue it.
“Karugtong ‘nung kanyang sinabi na bukas ang kanyang isipan ‘yung sinabi niyang hindi naman nangangahulugang automatic na hahabulin niya o hihingin niya talaga ‘yung term extension,” Coloma said.
(His statement that he was open to it was followed by his comment that it did not automatically mean that he will ask for a term extension.)
Coloma said Aquino only wanted to hear from his bosses, what they thought about continuing the reforms he had started.