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PNoy position on Chacha unchanged; Binay warns of 'Pandora's box'

July 13, 2013 1:54pm

Amid weeks of discussion involving amendments to the 1987 Constitution, President Benigno Aquino’s position on the matter has not changed, Malacañang said Saturday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she learned this from Aquino on Friday, when she had a chance to ask him about his position on the subject.

“My position has not changed,” Valte recalled the President telling her, when she was interviewed Saturday on government-run dzRB radio.

She noted talks about Charter change (Chacha) had been ongoing for the last “two to three weeks.”

“Given that the issue has been, two o three weeks [nang] pinag-uusapan, I had the opportunity to ask the president and that was his reply," she said.

Last week, Valte said Aquino is not quite closing the door on Chacha yet but will still have to be convinced of its urgency.

She said Aquino had always posed the question of what will be lost if the Constitution is not amended – and has yet to get a good answer.

Also, she said the President has always asked if there would be a “clear and present danger” if the Charter is not amended now.

Aquino has also been asking what the country would lose if it does not amend the 1987 Constitution at this time.

“Until that time someone is able to answer the question of the President, Chacha will remain to be not a priority.... Somebody has to justify the urgency to him,” she said.

Chacha like opening Pandora's box

Earlier this week, Vice President Jejomar Binay warned amending the 1987 Charter at this time may be tantamount to opening the so-called Pandora’s box.

In a post on his Facebook account, Binay also said he hopes there will not be any attempt by Chacha proponents to amend non-economic provisions in the Charter.

"I do not doubt the sincerity of (Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.), but I hope there won’t be attempts to amend other non-economic provisions since that could be divisive," he said.

He said Belmonte’s move to legislate changes in the Constitution was “laudable” since the Speaker emphasized their Chacha efforts will focus on economic provisions.

Binay added he personally agreed with the need to amend Article XII Section 10, which limits foreign ownership of local companies to 40 percent.

Amending that particular provision may help attract more foreign investors to the country, he added.

“I don’t think there is much dispute in the 60/40 economic provision,” he said.

On the other hand, he reiterated talks about Chacha should only center on how it can strengthen the economy and help address the basic needs of the Filipino people.

“I submit that Charter change is a serious issue and we have to study it well. This is not to say that I am eager to Cha-Cha-Cha myself. Not at all. I hear the music but I will not rush into it,” he had said last February. — LBG, GMA News
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