PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is considering naming former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to head a 25-man commission tasked to draft a new constitution.
Speaking to reporters in Myanmar on Sunday night, Duterte said the last word on the matter would be Arroyo’s.
“Maybe. Maybe. Maybe, baka ayaw rin niya e [She might not agree]. But maybe,” the President said of Arroyo’s inclusion in the constitutional commission that will work with lawmakers, who are expected to convene as a constituent assembly to rewrite the 1987 Constitution.
The President is pushing an overhaul of the 30-year-old charter, including a shift to a federal form of government and the removal of restrictive foreign ownership caps.
Duterte, through an executive order, earlier formed a constitutional committee to study amendments to the 1987 Constitution. The 25 members of the committee will be appointed by the President.
The President said it was unlikely that Arroyo, who held power from 2001 to 2010, would accept a Cabinet post under his government.
“She cannot be working under a President when she was already a president. That will be quite a tall order for her to do that. But representing the people of the district of her own province would be somehow acceptable to everybody,” Duterte said.
Arroyo has been removed as deputy House speaker after voting against a bill seeking to revive capital punishment.
Despite her removal, Arroyo has expressed support for the Duterte administration.
The former president, who holds an economics doctorate, had been rumored to be in the running for a Cabinet post or as governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Back in December, Arroyo said the President did not offer her any Cabinet post, following their meeting in Malacañang.