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24 ORAS EXCLUSIVE

Marcos: 1987 Constitution ‘not written for a globalized world’


The  Philippines needs to adapt as the 1987 Constitution was crafted not in the context of a global community, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. told GMA Integrated News on Tuesday amid discussions on Charter change (Cha-cha).

In an exclusive interview with Pia Arcangel which aired on "24 Oras," Marcos said the least controversial way to amend the Constitution would be to look at its economic provisions—and that political changes can come later. 

"The 1987 constitution was not written for a globalized world. That is where we are now... so we have to adjust so that we can increase the economic activity in the Philippines so we can attract more foreign investors," Marcos said.

As it stands, the Constitution limits foreign ownership to 40% in public utilities such as electricity, water, and public transportation.

It also prohibits foreigners from owning land in the country, something that Marcos said he was unwilling to change.

He said wealthy foreigners paying big money to buy property will cause its land values to go up.

"And the old residents cannot pay for the real estate tax because nawala na sa market nila so papaalisin natin 'yang mga 'yan [it's no longer within their market and they would be driven away]. I don't think I will agree with that," Marcos said.

As for corporations, Marcos said, "baka pwede nating pag-usapan [that can be discussed] except for the critical areas such as power generation, media."

"All the strategic areas that we cannot allow to be influenced by a foreign entity, a corporation or another country. That's what we have to decide—where we draw the line and how much," Marcos said.

Marcos indicated that he was open to political amendments to the Constitution but added that it was not yet time. He said the people are anxious that elections will be cancelled.

The President raised the issue of constitutional term limits, saying mayors who have run out of terms make their wife or child run for the post while they run for vice mayor.

"So wala ring nagbago [So noting changed]. They're still running the show. We have a term in Ilocos. We call them mayor-vice. Because they’re the vice mayor but they’re running the administration of the town," Marcos said.

"We really have to think about that. But I think in the present day, we can have these discussions later on. But for the present day, my concern is the economic provisions. And I do not want to confuse the issue any longer," he added.

Earlier, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri revealed that Marcos himself bucked efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution through a people's initiative.

Marcos earlier said the Commission on Elections should be allowed to do its job when it comes to the people's initiative in line with the calls to amend the 1987 Constitution.

The President said he has already talked to concerned officials regarding speculations that people are being paid to sign forms for the people's initiative.

''Well, pagka binayaran ‘yung signature, hindi tatanggapin ng Comelec ‘yun. So walang magandang mangyayari,'' Marcos said.

[Well, if the signatures being gathered are paid, the Comelec won't accept it. So nothing will come out of it.] — BM, GMA Integrated News

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