ADMINISTRATION party stalwarts will meet to discuss Charter change (Cha-cha), which was broached by President Benigno Aquino 3rd recently, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.
Speaking at the sidelines of the commemoration of the 31st death anniversary of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy| Aquino Jr., Drilon said he had endorsed a meeting by the Liberal Party (LP) called by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. But the senator clarified that he does not know yet when the meeting will take place.
“Secretary Abad suggested that a meeting should be held. I endorsed that but as of now, I do not know when is the schedule. [It is] to clarify the President’s pronouncements that he is not really interested in seeking a second term, that he is not interested in amending the Constitution during his term. To finally put an end to this issue,” the Senate chief told reporters.
Drilon said Aquino is against any move to amend the Charter “during his term.”
“As I know him, he was averse to any constitutional change during his term and so let us leave it at that. Even Malacañang said so,” he pointed out.
According to Drilon, the LP has no party stand on the matter and that none of them have met to discuss it lengthily so far, not even with President Aquino.
“We haven’t met yet and we haven’t talked about it,” he said, adding that it was only upon Abad’s prodding that he endorsed the holding of such a meeting.
Deputy palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said they are not privy to any plan by the LP to hold a meeting on the issue, explaining that Abad’s call was purely a “party matter.”
“We will defer to Secretary Abad’s position as it involves the LP and he is one of its senior members,’ she added.
Drilon, meanwhile, said they will not prohibit anyone from the House of Representatives from pushing for economic Cha-cha as espoused by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. himself.
“Our understanding is that the House should end and pass it, then submit it to the Senate,” he added.
Belmonte and his allies are pushing for the amendment of certain economic provisions in the Charter that would boost economic growth.