Palace: Aquino sensitive to voice of his bosses amid calls for re-election

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is sensitive to the "voice of his bosses" amid calls for him to seek another term.

Contrary to previous Palace's firm stance, that the Constitution only provides a six-year term for a Philippine president, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, in a press briefing on Wednesday, seemed to have changed the tone regarding Aquino's supposed re-election bid.

"The President is sensitive to the voice of his boss(es). So let's just wait for that," he said, referring to the public.

Asked if Aquino would listen to his bosses if their preference is for him to run again for another term, Lacierda said, "Hindi ko po alam...ang alam lang natin ay nakikinig ang Pangulo sa tinig ng mga boss."

The Palace official said that he was just saying it as a "matter of principle."

He admitted that Aquino was aware of those calls for him to run again as president.

"We've always mentioned to the President that. 'Sir, there are a number of people who have expressed the sentiment.' And this is not only now. You know, it's not because (Interior) Secretary (Manuel) Mar Roxas (II) mentioned that. It has been ongoing… Because of the profound changes that have happened during, under this administration—the fight for reform, the push for reform, the various initiatives on reform, transparency measures, the poverty alleviation interventions that we have done, the benefits that a large segment of our people have received—many people have come to us and expressed the sentiment of their preference for another term," he said.

"But, again, this is not something that we have discussed seriously, knowing fully well his (Aquino's) stand on charter change," Lacierda added.

Roxas, who was being groomed by the administration Liberal Party to run for president in 2016 polls, earlier said he supports the proposal for another term for Aquino.

Aquino's allies in Congress led by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte have been pushing for constitutional change, particularly on the economic provisions.

Pressed if the Palace would now support move to change the Constitution, including the term extension of the President, Lacierda reiterated Aquino's position that this was not the right time for Charter change.

"We have already stated out the President’s position on charter change and ilang ulit na po nating nasabi 'yon. So alam na po ng sambayanan kung ano po ang sentimiyento ng ating Pangulo tungkol sa charter change," he said.

Lacierda reiterated that the Aquino administration is focused in addressing the concerns of the people.

Calls for Aquino to seek for re-election would "not distract us from focusing on serving the Filipino people," he said, noting that all these discussions are "all in the realm of theory, 'what ifs', realm of possibilities."

"We're fully committed to serving out ‘til 2016," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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