MANILA, Philippines — After hinting a few weeks ago his willingness for a possible term extension, President Benigno Aquino III surprised everyone after he expressed on Tuesday his openness to shift the form of government into a monarchic style.
“Bago nito, bago nangyari lahat ng ito, sarado… aminado ako (Before all these, before all these things happened, I was not open for it, I admit that),” said Aquino, during a press conference held at Malacañang. “Pero ngayon, napapag-isip ako talaga na napapanahon na gawin natin ito (But now, I’m seriously considering the timeliness of doing this now).”
The proposed Philippine monarchy will have the President as King, and presidential sister, Kris Aquino, as queen.
“Natural lang na sya ang gawin kong reyna dahil diba sya na ang Queen of All Media?” said Aquino in jest.
The President, however, expressed concern that changing the form of government from democratic to monarchic could result in some groups crying foul.
“Maaring may magagalit, alam natin yan (There will be others who will get mad, we know that),” he added. “Pero ito lang ang naisip kong paraan para magtuloy-tuloy habambuhay ang nasimulan nating mga reporma (But this is the only way that the reforms we started will continue for a lifetime).”
But, Aquino also noted that it doesn’t automatically mean that he will be sitting on the throne for a lifetime.
“Hindi po pwedeng tayo lang ang uupo sa tronong ito (It’s not right for me to sit on the throne forever),” he said. “Darating ang araw na nasa tamang edad na ang aking pamangkin na si Bimby at sya na ang hihiranging bilang King James (The time will come when my nephew, Bimby, will be of the right age and he will be crowned as King James).”
After the press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda made clear that the President’s proposal of a monarchic form of government was a personal view, not a position of the Liberal Party.
“I think he said this based on his personal view that his Royal Highness, I mean his Excellency, has done so well for the country,” Lacierda said. “That and too much binge watching of Game of Thrones.”
“The President’s statements and that of this administration’s, should always be taken with a grain of salt. In both instances, the 2016 elections will push through,” Lacierda told Palace reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Stay tuned for further developments.