Escudero: Term extension impossible

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Monday, August 18, 2014


THE amendment of the Constitution to extend the term of any official would not happen, Senator Francis Escudero said Monday.

Escudero said all the declarations, proclamations, and statements were for “positioning” purposes, particularly on the 2016 presidential elections.

“In my views, Charter change could not be pursued, particularly on the extension of term,” Escudero said.

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President Benigno Aquino III has been drawing flak for his openness to amend the charter that would enable him to seek a second term. The Constitution only mandates a single six-year term for a president.

“First, let us say he’s (Aquino) kind, he’s not corrupt, he runs the administration well, but I assume, not only one has all the talents and greatness, and the good intention for the country, and that no one is irreplaceable,” he said.

Escudero said the Filipinos would be the ones to choose the right person to govern the country.

The senator cited two reasons why some officials want term extension.

“First, trial balloon. Just like what others say, they (officials) were testing it (Charter change, regarding the extension of terms),” Escudero said. "Secondly, maybe the Palace wants to prevent President Aquino from being labelled as lame dunk president because his term will end soon."

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III also gave his side regarding the lifting of term limits.

“We are really more focus on the system of the government, not the terms,” Pimentel said.

“But if ever we talk about changing the term living rule, maybe the best to follow, from the existing one year to six term for president would be a two-four year term for the president,” he added.

If Charter change will push through, Pimentel said there would be a transitory provision on how the incumbents would be affected by the changes.

Meanwhile, Escudero cited two main problems that need necessary actions from the government.

“Two things (that the President should consider). First, fight corruption. Second, front line services of the administration should be executed well,” Escudero said, adding he already told Aquino about these concerns after winning the 2010 presidential race.

Front line services of the government include issuance of clearance, license and passports and fixing issues related to Metro Rail Transit-3 and traffic, he said.

Escudero is hoping that the administration will address these problems so that the Filipinos will feel that there are positive changes happening under Aquino's term. (Ruth Abbey Gita/Sunnex)

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