MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda is not that fluent in Filipino and that is why he failed to properly clarify the supposed plan of President Benigno Aquino III in 2016, his deputy explained.
“In fact, kahapon pinapagbiruan po namin, kasi si Secretary Lacierda ay hindi ho ‘yan kasingtatas sa Tagalog. Kaya sabi nga ho namin, sa susunod ay Ingles na lang po ‘yung kanyang maging pahayag dahil ‘yung naging pahayag po yata ‘nung Biyernes ay parang kalahati po Tagalog, kalahati Ingles,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
In an interview with reporters last week, Lacierda stirred up speculations on a no-election (No-El) scenario in 2016.
“Let’s wait for the endorsement of the President kung sino ang kanyang kandidato sa 2016 kung sakaling itutuloy ang 2016 elections,” Lacierda had said.
He then issued a retraction later in the day, saying: “The President has neither decided on term extension or endorsing a candidate. In both instances, 2016 elections will push through.”
His deputy reiterated this, noting that the clarification was issued immediately.
“Siguro po naging bayolente nga ‘yung kanilang reaksyon, ngunit kahit ‘nung Biyernes po at ‘nung kahapon ay ipinaliwanag naman po natin, lalo na ipinaliwanag po ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda ‘yung kanyang naging statement po noong Biyernes,” she said, referring to criticisms on the No-El scenario.
Malacanang faced the backlash after it was reported that President Aquino was willing to amend the Constitution, specifically the provision on a president’s term limit. Even his communications team has not been consistent with their statements.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos urged Aquino to be clear about his position.
“Sa amin po kasi, doon po sa ating pagtingin sa naging pagsagot ng Pangulo doon sa kanyang interview doon sa isang istasyon ay malinaw po ‘yung kanyang pagkakalatag ‘nung kanya pong iniisip, at kung bakit daw po nagkaroon ng kabukasan doon sa pag-amyenda ng ating Konstitusyon at binigay din po niya ‘yung mga dahilan… He was also very clear on what he explained,” Valte said.