Santiago: Ban ‘idiot’ presidential aspirants

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Friday, March 21, 2014


POLITICAL candidates running for national office should have at least graduated college, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Friday, saying there is a need to ban "idiot" presidential aspirants.

Santiago, chairperson of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, said that while she is not in favor of amending the 1987 Constitution "so soon," she wants to amend the provision setting the qualifications for presidential candidates.

"There's no such provision (educational qualification) for a presidential candidate, so any idiot can run for president and possibly poll a certain number of votes among his fellow idiots," she told reporters.

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"So we should make on it record that candidates for national office should be at least a college graduate," Santiago said.

Section 2, Article VII states that presidential candidates should be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, and at least 40 years old on Election Day.

When Congress resumes its session on May 5, the House of Representatives will begin its plenary debate on House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.'s resolution seeking to introduce amendments to the economic provision of the Constitution.

Belmonte had even signed a pledge to prove that the House of Representatives is not keen on touching the Charter's political provisions.

Santiago said she is not in favor of Belmonte's resolution.

"I am against changing the economic provisions for the sake of change. We don't need to experiment," she said.

The senator also warned that once the House of Representatives approves to amend the Constitution, it cannot limit the changes to just one area.

"Once Congress has made a decision to open the Charter to change, it cannot limit what a constitutional convention or a constituent assembly can do. You cannot say just limit to economic provisions," Santiago said.

Belmonte's resolution amends economic provisions of the Constitution by adding the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law." (Sunnex)

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