MANILA - Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Thursday said lawmakers championing charter change should not be the beneficiaries of the planned amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
"May mga nakakabahala na balita kung ano 'yung gustong baguhin sa batas, tulad ng holdover. 'Yung nagbago ng batas, hindi dapat siya ang mabebenepisyuhan nung pagbabagong gagawin," Aquino said in an interview.
(There are disturbing reports on the planned changes such as the holdover [of positions]. Those who change the law should not be the beneficiaries of the changes.)
Lawmakers have begun deliberations on moves to change the country's Constitution to pave the way for a shift to a federal form of government, one of the key campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This amid apprehensions on the part of some lawmakers and experts that charter change may be used for the political gain of some incumbent government officials.
Before taking steps to change the 1987 Constitution, Aquino said lawmakers should see first what provisions are in need of amendments.
"Makita muna kung ano ba gustong baguhin o palitan," Aquino said of the Constitution crafted during the presidency of his late mother Corazon Aquino.
(See first what they want to change or replace.)
Following an earlier impasse, leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed to focus on the "substance" of charter amendments and set aside for the meantime differences over the mode of voting to approve the changes, said Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.
The agreement was made following a meeting between the leadership of the 2 houses of Congress amid disagreements on the manner of voting to approve changes in the charter.
-- report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News