Duterte renewed call to Constitutional change to limit restrictions, Panelo says
President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the supposed incoming leaders of the House of Representatives to ''change the Constitution''.
In a speech on Monday night, Duterte reiterated his call to amend the 1987 Charter.
"We have to change the Constitution. Whether federal or what not. I told the three - the Speaker and that is Cayetano. Velasco, he will be assuming in the term-sharing, maybe if he's still alive...then the majority floor leader, I said, 'If you want to change the Constitution, do it now. I'm still there'," Duterte said.
To resolve the issue on the speakership, Duterte has agreed there should be term-sharing in the speakership between Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco. Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, also a contender in the speakership, would be the House Majority Floor Leader.
Without elaborating, Duterte said that the military is becoming restive as he cited corruption in government.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, asked of what Duterte meant that the military has been restive, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, "I think it's a fair warning to all that they might get mad. They might stage a coup."
"That's why he (Duterte) said 'if you want to stage a coup, don't bring the tanks. Just talk to me. Let us have a coffee here'," he added.
Panelo said Duterte also wants to address restrictions in the Constitution why he has been pushing for Charter change.
"Like for instance, he wants the foreign investors to come in without restriction. Like foreign investors could not enter if it's not 60 percent capital for the Filipinos," he said.
He also cited the failure of Duterte to get emergency powers to address traffic along Edsa.
"His (Duterte's) hands are tied. There are lots of constraints that's why he's asking for emergency power. But they (Congress) did not want to give him. That's why he said, 'You did not want to give me (emergency power), let Edsa rot'. There are lots of (provisions) that need to be changed in the Constitution," he said.
Asked if one of the changes in the Constitution would be giving more power to the President, Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said, "Perhaps to limit the restraints, constitutional restraints imposed to certain branches of government." Celerina Monte/DMS