FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Rep. Edcel Lagman
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will end in 2022.
However, owing to the proposed shift to a federal form of government, Senate President Koko Pimentel noted the possible extension of the chief executive’s term to pave way for the transition period.
With this, opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed concern that changing the Constitution and the system of the government will not only extend the term of the president but also give him more powers.
The senator noted one of these powers might be the creation of laws that would no longer need the approval of Congress.
According to Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the President can manipulate the decision of the constituent assembly to implement the changes he wants in the Constitution.
Lagman explained this is because of the existing administration-allied supermajority in Congress.
On the other hand, Malacañang strongly denied the alleged term extension of the chief executive.
“I would like to repeat, the President does not want his term to be extended. In fact, he wants to shorten it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez clarified the issue on the alleged possibility of a ‘no-election’ scenario. Alvarez said it might happen in the 2019 senatorial polls and not in the 2022 presidential elections.
He explained, should the charter change push through to pave the way for federalism, the structure of the government will change.
The House speaker said it might affect the senators whose term will end in 2025, noting it is practical to not hold an election in 2019 so that all senators will simultaneously end their terms in 2022.
Alvarez added that election for local positions and lawmakers in the House of Representatives might push through in 2019. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue