MANILA - Malacañang dismissed fears that President Aquino has become a "threat to democracy" when he expressed openness to amending the Constitution to address "judicial overreach."
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Aquino is still in the process of consulting the people on the matter of Charter change and would also listen to people’s views on the proposal to lift term limits of public officials.
Lacierda said Aquino is after "a healthy balance between the three branches of government."
“Klaro naman kay Pangulong Aquino tungkol sa term extension nagkokonsulta siya. Doon naman sa kanyang pahayag sa cha-cha, ang kanyang tinitignan ay itong pagkakaroon ng healthy balance between the three branches of government. Kasi nga ayon sa kanya, tila may pagka-judicial overreach ang Korte Suprema. ‘Yun lang naman ang kanyang nasabi tungkol sa pag-amyenda sa saligang batas,” Lacierda told reporters.
Aquino, he said, is aware of various opinions expressed on the matter, including results of various surveys and what is being said on the issue.
"May samu’t saring survey na lumalabas so ‘yan naman lahat ay tinitignan at may mga kinakausap siya. May nababasa rin siya. We still don’t know kung anuman ang magiging decision niya. So lahat ng pahayag na sinasabing ‘threat to democracy,’ lahat ‘yan ay masyado na kayong umabante na. E si Pangulong Aquino nasa ano pa lang siya, sa pagko-konsultasyon. So [they] should not worry about [him] being a threat to democracy because what we’re after is really a healthy balance between the three branches of government," he said.
Lacierda said it is "premature" for the minority to block Charter change, saying that there are no moves yet from the Palace to push for it.
"This is a free country," he said when asked of the minority’s move to block Charter change.
"They are getting ahead of themselves. There are no moves yet from the Palace to do charter change. So whatever tactical alliance that they are going to do, it’s way premature considering that at this present stage right now, the President is still mulling and discussing it or thinking about cha-cha. As to concrete moves taken, no concrete moves have been taken place."