Duterte can't change Constitution, says Lacson

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2017 01:45 PM | Updated as of Nov 29 2017 06:48 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson and President Rodrigo Duterte.

MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday reminded President Rodrigo Duterte that he has no powers to change the country's charter.

This after Duterte expressed interest in amending the Constitution to fight corruption.

“Wala. Malinaw ang nasa Constitution,” Lacson said when asked whether Duterte has authority to revise the organic law. 

The senator explained difficulties in amending the country's charter since it creates suspicion among Filipinos. 

"Long shot ang amendment ng charter. Hanggang ngayon pinag-uusapan pero wala naman talagang move to amend the charter. Even in previous administrations, 'pag pinag-usapan ang amendment ng charter parang suspicious lahat ng Pilipino,” Lacson told reporters.

There had been proposals in previous administrations to revise the Constitution but these were met with opposition due to concerns that the sitting President would use them to his or her advantage.

Sen. JV Ejercito meanwhile defended the President's remarks, saying these may have been out of frustration.

"Probably, he’s just expressing what he thinks, out of frustration,” 
Ejercito said.

Duterte, who had proposed changing the country’s type of government to federalism, had allayed fears that he plans to extend his 6-year term.

“It is not intended to give me dictatorial powers. Constrict it if you want,” Duterte said Tuesday.