MANILA – On the subject matter of running for reelection, President Benigno Aquino III has vacillated in making a solid decision; saying repeatedly that he will listen to the collective voice of the Filipino people, whom he refers to as his “bosses.”
But how exactly will President Aquino determine what his 100 million bosses want with regard to whether he should be seeking another term? This is what Sen. Francis Escudero wants to know.
Escudero, Senate finance committee chair, posed this question to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa after the latter said that there was no inconsistency on the part of Aquino, in terms of his his pronouncements on whether or not he will run for re-election.
It was pointed out by Escudero on Wednesday, at the hearing on the Office of the President’s budget, that on the Presidents’ recent trip to Europe, he yet again spoke of the possibility of seeking re-election. However, before leaving Manila, he said that he was hoping not to be chosen as his own successor.
Ochoa opined: “What I understand on a personal basis is that the President will listen to his bosses, and that’s what he has been saying all along, and we don’t see any inconsistency in any of his statements.”
By way of clarification, Escudero noted that he was not saying the President was being inconsistent; but merely pointing out the possibility of such.
He queried as to these possibilities: would Aquino decide not to run for re-election if his bosses say he shouldn’t, and would he to choose to run if they say he should. Ochoa affirmed that was how he personally understood the President’s statement.
“If the people say he (Aquino) should amend the Constitution so that he could run again, then this will be done as well. If that’s what it will take to do it; that will be the route that will be taken,” he added.
To this, Escudero asked: “Out of curiosity, how do we find out what his bosses want? Short of a referendum?” But Ochoa could not respond to the question, which he was again asked later on by reporters.
The executive secretary said it would be best for the President himself to shed light on the matter.
“We have not discussed that in that detail yet. How that will be, but I’m sure the President has something on his mind. He can clarify when he comes back,” he told reporters.