MANILA - Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday said she wants to move the Charter change advocacy as far as she can during her term, believing it might not be completed within her time in office.
Arroyo, a former president who also sought amendments to the 1987 Constitution, has agreed to a separate voting by the House of Representatives and the Senate in a constituent assembly.
"It might not probably be completed in my remaining time in office, especially there will still be a plebiscite. But I hope to move it forward as far as I can during my time as Speaker and so I hope that those who follow after will pick up from where we left off in this Congress," she told ABS-CBN News in an exclusive interview.
She added that the best way to engage senators into the discussion is to address the concerns they raised, including the need for separate voting.
The House of Representatives, then under the leadership of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, adopted in January a resolution to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Charter.
Senators, however, said they would boycott a joint assembly where they would be outnumbered by the 292-strong House.
NO PRIME MINISTER ROLE
Arroyo rebuffed speculation that she will become prime minister under the new federal system and that incumbent officials will be given term extensions.
She pointed out that the draft constitution submitted by the Duterte-backed consultative committee kept the presidential system of government, "so there is no Prime Minister to speak of."
She also underscored that she was not in favor of term extension so she did not support the proposal to postpone next year's midterm elections.