Arroyo to head constitutional commission? Duterte says, ‘Maybe’

Pia Ranada
Arroyo to head constitutional commission? Duterte says, ‘Maybe’
The President is open to appointing Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as head of the consultative committee that will study possible amendments to the Constitution

BANGKOK, Thailand – Will Pampanga 2nd District Representative and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo find herself leading the Constitutional Commission?

President Rodrigo Duterte is open to the idea but says the last word on the matter will be Arroyo’s.

“Maybe. Maybe. Maybe, baka ayaw rin niya eh (she may not want to). But maybe,” said Duterte when asked by a reporter if he would consider her to head the commission during a chance interview on Sunday, March 19 in Myanmar.

Duterte, through an Executive Order, created a Consultation Committee to study possible amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

The 25 members of the committee are to be appointed by the President.

Amending the Constitution is the first step to the country’s shift to federalism, which Duterte promised to initiate during his presidency.

The Duterte administration is also pushing for amendments of “restrictive” economic provisions within the charter, specifically those on foreign ownership of companies.

Duterte floated the possibility of Arroyo heading the committee after she was ousted from deputy speakership in the House for opposing death penalty.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stripped all lawmakers of leadership positions for voting against the controversial death penalty bill, a priority measure of the Duterte administration. The bill was approved by the House on final reading last March 7. It remains pending with the Senate.

Duterte said he has not offered Arroyo any Cabinet position following developments in Congress. Anyway, he said, Arroyo is not likely to accept such an offer.

“No. I don’t she will accept it. She cannot be working under a President when she was already a president. That will be quite a tall order for her to do that. But representing the people of the district of her own province would be somehow acceptable to even everybody,” said Duterte.

Back in December, Arroyo said the President did not offer her any Cabinet post, following their meeting in Malacañang. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at