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PIA Press Release
2008/11/24

Charter Change moves begin, end with Congress - Palace

Manila (24 November) -- Any move to amend the Philippine Constitution begins and ends with Congress.

Thus stressed Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez Jr. in an interview over the Radyo ng Bayan program "Pilipinas, Pilipinas!"

Malacaņang is neither the initiator nor the agitator for Charter Change (Cha-Cha), he added.

"Kailangan nating liwanagan ang issue. Moves to amend our Constitution, or Cha-Cha, begin and end with Congress. Sa Congress nagsisimula at nagtatapos ang Cha-Cha. Dahil dito, 'di orchestrator ang palasyo. Dapat liwanagin 'yan," urged Golez.

The deputy presidential spokesman explained that "to be consistent" with its stand on the issue, the Palace has not prevented nor discouraged discussions of the Cha-Cha.

"Magmula pa po nung una, the Palace has not prevented nor discouraged such moves. Ang usapin na 'yan is sa Kongreso po, and we respect the independence of Congress. Sila-sila po ang mag-usap diyan," he said.

Golez added that Malacaņang has been consistent about the "need for Constitutional reforms to significantly boost the chances for (economic) reforms and development."

"Noon pang nanga-ngampanya siya (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), sinu-suportahan na ng Pangulo ang mga reporma. It is reform-oriented and reform-driven," he said.

He pointed out that "the Palace will exclude, disown and reject amendments that deal with term extension and other schemes to perpetuate incumbent elective officials, including the President."

"Yung sinu-suportahan ng palace mula pa nung una eh moves to boost our chances of growing and developing, particularly yung kelangan ng bansa in the middle of the economic crisis," said Golez.

As to threats by some groups to call for a snap election before Christmas should the Cha-Cha movement persist, the Palace official said, "Nasa kanilang pag-uusap 'yan, sa Kongreso."

"Sabi nga, ang snap election is like a snap decision. Hindi puede sa Constitution ang mga moves na 'yan. Nasa kanila po 'yan. Nasa Kongreso ang usapin na 'yan."

Golez added that the President's critics were "barking up the wrong tree," and urged: "Kailangan sabihin nila 'yan sa mga kasama nila sa Kongreso, hindi sa Palasyo (dahil) sa kanila nagsisimula ang mga moves to amend the Constitution." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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