‘Don’t shoot the messenger:’ Sotto denies pushing for charter change now
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III distanced himself on Saturday from the proposal to amend the Constitutional, denying that he was pushing for it amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
In an interview over AM radio DWIZ, Sotto noted social media comments that made it appear that his remarks on the issue had already been “set in stone.”
“They’re asking why I’m like this, why I’m pushing that. But I’m thinking: I was just relaying a story. Don’t shoot the messenger. I just told a story. Why should I push for that?” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.
Sotto was referring to his remarks on a meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and lawmakers in November 2020 wherein they tackled the issue of charter change. According to Sotto, Duterte suggested in that meeting either the amendment or removal of the provision on party-list groups as a way of resolving the communist rebellion.
In another interview over DWIZ, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian expressed his reservation about tackling charter change at this time.
“The time is not right. My term is almost over and the term of the others is also almost over. The best thing is to amend the Constitution at the start of the term of lawmakers so that there would be no doubt [about their intentions] and they could freely tackle and talk about amendments,” Gatchalian said in Filipino.
So he said the best time would be the first year after the 2022 elections.