PNoy won't budge, still won't back Cha-cha

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2014 05:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2014 01:30 AM

MANILA - Malacañang reiterated that President Aquino does not support moves in Congress to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.

“The President is firm. I can assure you… notwithstanding the endorsement of Speaker (Feliciano) Belmonte towards amending the charter on the economic provisions. I suppose si Speaker Belmonte has a position different from the President, but the President has always been very transparent about his position on charter change," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, a known ally of the President, is the principal author of Resolution No. 1, which seeks to introduce the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law" in constitutional provisions that restrict foreign ownership of land and businesses.

Belmonte said this would enable Congress to lift such restrictions when needed. He said the country needs to amend the Constitution to achieve inclusive growth and address rising unemployment.

For his part, Aquino has said Charter change proponents need to show the benefits of amending the Constitution.

He again cited China as an example of how economic progress is not necessarily correlated with land ownership.

He pointed out that China managed to keep its economy robust even if it does not allow foreigners to own land.

"Sana mapakita ang dahilan kung bakit kailangan nating palitan. Dahil nga ito ang Saligang Batas, pinaka-pundasyon, pinaka-bedrock ng ating mga batas. Mababago, short term magkakaroon ng disruption. Sulit ba 'yung disruption na 'yan doon sa anticipated benefits?" Aquino told reporters.