Palace defends people's right to be informed on Charter reform
Quezon City (8 October) -- Stressing it is the inherent right of the people to be informed on matters of vital importance to their future, Malacañang said today there is nothing wrong with the government information agencies working to disseminate information and educate the masses on the true meaning of People’s Initiative (PI) for Charter change.
In a statement, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye clarified that Charter reform was a promise that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made in the 2004 presidential elections and she repeatedly explained it to the people, particularly in the various "Pulong Bayan" during the campaign.
Bunye made the statement to debunk the allegation of former ally but turned political rival Senator Franklin Drilon that "the expenditure of government funds" for the information drive on Charter amendments "is unauthorized and improper."
"We do not see anything wrong in the government enlivening and deepening the general debate on this issue," Bunye said.
"It is an open book that President Arroyo is a strong advocate of Charter reform but she has never crossed the line in the determination of its modalities by the people, by the legislature or by the courts," he stressed.
He added that "it is the right of the people to be informed on matters of import to their future; and the government is merely performing its responsibility."
According to Bunye, because of the President’s open endorsement of constitutional reform, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) can undertake programs explaining it to the people.
"We should not deprive our people of this chance for real political change and economic reforms and we should leave politicking out of this legitimate and lawful exercise because at the end of the day it will be the people themselves who would decide their fate," Bunye said. (PIA) [top]