MANILA (Mabuhay) — Roughly three out of five Filipinos do not want the 1987 Constitution amended at this time, though nearly half of them are open to having it amended sometime in the future, according to a new survey by pollster Pulse Asia.
The survey conducted from September 8 to 15 also showed 62 percent of Filipinos do not want the Charter amended to allow a second term for President Benigno Aquino III.
“For 62 percent of Filipinos, there is no need to amend the 1987 Constitution at the present time – with 32 percent opposed to Charter change at any other time and 30 percent being open to charter change at some future time,” it said.
Also, it noted opposition to Charter change now is the majority sentiment in each geographic area at 61 to 68 percent and socio-economic grouping from 56 to 65 percent.
In contrast, about 20 percent of Filipinos said the Constitution should be amended now, while 18 percent “can’t say” if the Charter should be amended at this time.
The survey also showed 62 percent of Filipinos are not in favor of President Benigno Aquino III running for the presidency after his term ends in 2016.
“Around six in 10 Filipinos (62%) are not in favor of President Benigno S. Aquino III running again for the presidency after his term ends in 2016, that is, should the 1987 Constitution be amended to allow for the re-election of an incumbent chief executive,” Pulse Asia said.
Under the present Constitution, the president is entitled to only one six-year term.
In August, Aquino said he was now open to amending the 1987 Constitution to limit the judiciary’s reach on the executive and the legislature.
In a television interview, Aquino said the present Charter – which was drafted and approved early during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino – does not balance the powers of the three government branches.
Against second term for Aquino
The Pulse Asia survey said that when the people were asked if they are in favor of Aquino running for president again should the Constitution be amended and the president be allowed to run again, 62 percent answered they were not in favor while only 38 percent said they were.
The opposition to Aquino running again for the presidency was the sentiment of 67 percent in Metro Manila, 71 percent in Balance Luzon, 52 percent in Mindanao and 50 percent in Visayas; and 63 percent in Class ABC, 65 percent in Class E and 61 percent in Class D.
Those in favor of Aquino running again included 50 percent of those in the Visayas, 48 percent in Mindanao, 33 percent in Metro Manila and 29 percent in Balance Luzon; and 37 percent of Class ABC, 39 percent of Class D, and 35 percent of Class E.