Arroyo made the statement at the dinner for the delegates to the Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity in Malacañang Thursday night in which Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and other members of the Supreme Court were present.
Pimentel also said that the President’s statement only serves to confirm the suspicion that when Panganiban revealed that SC members were receiving pressure on the issue of Charter Change, it was coming from Malacañang.
“The honeyed words of the President should not fool anyone. It is perfectly within the realm of reason to suggest that a change of politics should demand a change in the system of government,” he said.
“What she does not say is that the procedure she is following is questionable. She does not seem to understand that her desiring something good should be attained by good means, that is, in accordance with the Constitution and the Rule of Law,” he added.
Pimentel stressed that the so-called people’s initiative to amend the Constitution could not be validly pursued in the absence of a sufficient law as the Supreme Court had ruled in 1997. He said the current system of people’s initiative applies only to “minor amendments” and not to a “revision” of the Constitution which happens when the objective is to shift to a new system of government.
The senator also said it would be illegal for the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene into a constituent assembly and jointly vote on all amendments. “This violates the fundamental rule that the two chambers should vote separately on all amendments consistent with the bicameral structure of Congress,” he explained.
“Good intentions must not be done through underhanded methods that Sigaw ng Bayan and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines under her baton are singing to lull our people into unduly trusting their evil ends,” he said.