Palace: Aquino wants reforms to continue why he’s open for Cha-cha, term extension

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is open to Constitutional amendment and to extend his term to ensure continuity in the reforms and transformation in the country, a Palace official said Thursday.

In a regular press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that since Aquino assumed his post, it has been his policy to listen to his "bosses," the Filipino people.

"What is essential for the President is to know the sentiments of his bosses, the Filipino people. He will continue to listen to them so he will know their views on how to ensure that the reforms and transformation that he has begun will continue and will become permanent," he said when asked what made the President change his mind on Charter change and term extension.

Prior to the interview of TV5 this week, Aquino was consistent in opposing moves to change the Constitution. Recently, some netizens in a social networking site have pushed for Aquino's re-election bid.

Under the 1987 Constitution, a president has only a six-year term. He or she could not seek for re-election.

In an interview with TV5, the President admitted that he is now entertaining the thought of amending the Constitution, citing his concern on the seeming too much power of the judiciary.

He said that the court seemed to have been using "its powers to check other branches much too often."

The Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of the lawmakers and Malacanang's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

When TV5 asked him if he was open to run again for another term, the President said, "'Nung pinasukan ko ito, ang tanda ko one term of six years... Ngayon, after having said that, syempre ang mga boss ko, kelangan kong pakinggan ‘yon..."

Aquino said he wanted to know from his bosses how to ensure that the reforms that his administration started would become permanent.

Asked how Aquino would know that he was really listening to the people, Coloma said, "Marami pong pagkakataon, maraming dinadaluyan ng impormasyon, at lahat naman ng mga relevant sources of information ay kino-consider po dahil kinakailangan ‘yung pag-unawa kung ano talaga ang saloobin ng kanyang mga boss.

"The President, being the highest official of the land, is the recipient of a lot of information at maraming nakikipag-ugnayan sa kanya. Bilang political leader, kinokontak din siya ng ating mga gobernador, mga alkalde. Marami ring nakikipag-talakayan sa kanya na mga lider sa iba’t ibang sektor—lider ng industriya, lider ng kalakal, lider sa negosyo. Marami din siyang mga kaibigan at mga kapanalig doon sa mga civil society organization. Kaya siya ay exposed sa lahat ng—sa maraming pananaw at maraming opinyon at lahat ng mga ito ay kanyang inuunawa, pinakikinggan niya, dahil nga ang kanyang patakaran sa pamamahala ay malaman ang saloobin ng mga mamamayan," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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