Duterte against Aquino’s term extension

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Thursday, August 21, 2014


DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, one of the staunch supporters of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, is strongly against a term extension for the president.

If given a chance to talk to the President, Duterte said he would tell him to "Calm down and not be the savior of this universe because we are not. Leave it to the people to decide."

He added: "I do not have any qualms about Aquino. He's a crusader. Ang problema lang he is saying the wrong things at the wrong time."

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Duterte said he holds the president in high regard because he is not corrupt.

"The president is good. He is very clean. We were together when I was in Congress. He is really very good and very clean that is why I supported him during the election. But to say we have to have an extension of his term to save democracy, hindi maganda yun," Duterte said.

Duterte said such proposals from the president's supporters and in Malacañang over extending Aquino's term can only be made possible through constitutional change, which he says is a good idea if it really is for a good reason.

"Nobody can really stop the Congress if they really want it. But if you say that you're trying to amend the constitution to save democracy, then, that is an idiotic thing. Democracy is very much alive. The problem is the people you elect," Duterte said.

He added that the country is run by elections, and that supporters or subordinates who say there must be a second term for Aquino to save democracy is merely "kalokohan (b******t)". He said: "If the people elected crooked government officials then that is their choice."

When the city mayor was asked if he is in favor of charter change (cha cha), he said that the prevailing motive these days is only limit the powers of the Supreme Court and amendments driven by whims and specific interests is dangerous to the country.

"Ganito yan, if they really want to amend the constitution, sabihin nila. Huwag na kayong magbigay ng rason. Just say we want to give Aquino a second term. Huwag kana magrason na dahil the democracy ay imperiled... kalokohan. Since when? Wala nga kay [Ferdinand] Marcos nuon tapos ngayon pa," Duterte said.

When asked if the issue on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has something to do with this call to amend the constitution and extend Aquino's term, Duterte refused to share his speculations.

"I have some thoughts but I am not ready to give it to you now. We'll find some other time. Actually, pagka ganun the president has been down in terms of rating, nobody would heed you, hear you, and follow you, kasi parang ano ka na ba, gwardya lang para nobody would abuse you," Duterte said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 21, 2014.

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