Charter change is ‘dead,’ Palace says
De Venecia’s allegations vs Arroyo ‘nonsense’
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 10:59:00 03/26/2009
MANILA, Philippines – Efforts to amend the Constitution are “dead” and Pangasinan Representative Jose De Venecia’s allegation that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is behind the reported final push for charter change is “nonsense,” a Palace official said Thursday.
“The fact that the administration created a search committee to screen candidates for president, vice president, and senator is proof that talk of cha-cha [charter change] is really dead,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde told government-run radio station dzRB.
House Speaker Jose de Venecia had accused the President’s son, Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez of offering him his old post as House Speaker in exchange for rallying congressmen to support their resolution that would pave the way for them to convene themselves into a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.
De Venecia claimed that Arroyo was behind the charter change move to extend her term beyond 2010.
“Wala pong katuturan iyan. As I have said, wala na sa isip ng ating Pangulo ang pamulitika ngayon dahil siya ay nakatutok po sa ekonomiya at sa paglikha ng trabaho. [That’s nonsense. As I have said, politics is not in the mind of the President because she is focused on the economy and job creation],” Remonde said, when asked about De Venecia’s claim.
Remonde dismissed talk of a no-election scenario as “black propaganda” meant to anger the public.
A former staunch ally of Arroyo, De Venecia was ousted as House Speaker in January 2008, after his son, Jose De Venecia III, linked the President’s husband, Jose Miguel, to the botched $329-million deal with China’s ZTE Corp. for the National Broadband Network (NBN) project.
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