President Duterte beyond 2022?
TACLOBAN CITY- The idea of extending the term of President Rodrigo Duterte beyond the constitutional limit could only result in a possible public outcry.
Thus said Joshua Sagdullas, spokesperson of Bayan- Sinirangan Bisayas, reacting to reports that some Congress leaders are toying the idea of extending the term of Mr. Duterte.
Mr. Duterte, under the Constitution, is only to serve for a single term which is good for six years. He is supposed to step down by 2022.
“This term extension is a by-product of the federalism which is being pushed (by his political allies). But this will only spark a public uprising. This will replicate what Marcos did who imposed martial law just so he could extend his term,” Sagdullas said.
Sagdullas claimed that extending the President’s term has no other purpose but to solidify his grip on power saying that there is a possibility that the scheduled 2019 barangay polls could be scrapped.
Thus, this could only ‘stifle grassroots mobilization effort’ of which their group has been doing in raising certain issues initiated by the government which they consider as anti-people.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmaker Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza dismissed the report as ‘highly speculative.’
“We have yet to discuss about conass (constituent assembly). Let’s wait for development,” Daza, reached on his phone, said.
Daza, who belongs to the Liberal Party, however, said that if ever this term extension would push through, he would oppose to it.
“I think, the terms of office of the President and congressmen as stipulated under our Constitution are enough. Let’s give others the chance to serve our people,” the veteran solon said.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)