Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Saturday batted for the lifting of term limits as a way to stop political dynasties, at the same time former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. hoped President Rodrigo Duterte would not extend his six-year term beyond 2022.
Alvarez said the 1987 Constitution sets term limits for elected public officials, and thus encourages political dynasties.
“Political dynasties exist because of the imposed term limits to elected public officials [as the 1987 Constitution provides]. Back then, there was no term limit, political dynasties, and that there was only one politician in a family,”
Alvarez said.Alvarez was referring to Section 26, Article II of the Constitution which states, “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
”But at present, there is no enabling law prohibiting the proliferation of political clans.
At a news forum in UP Diliman during the weekend, Pimentel said he strongly believed Duterte “will not extend or go beyond his term.”
“Up to 2022, no extension for the President. We want to emphasize that because critics are giving the wrong impression that federalism was being proposed to have added-on years to the President’s term. No, he himself said as much,” Pimentel said.
Consultative Committee spokesman Ding Generoso, also present at the forum, said under the transitory provision, the term of the incumbent president and the vice president would not go beyond June 30, 2022
In the past Congresses, bills were filed on political dynasties but did not prosper.
Alvarez said he welcomed efforts being pursued now by some sectors that would address the issue of term limits and political dynasties.
He added the United States, for instance, elected officials like legislators, and even Supreme Court justices had enjoyed unlimited terms.
“They can serve as long as they can,” Alvarez said.
“We should give value to the fact that the longer a politician is serving, the more he understands his job, gets more competent,” Alvarez said.
The House of Representatives has no timetable yet for the proposed Charter Change being pushed by the Duterte administration, House majority leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas said.
President Duterte and both chambers of Congress had received the Consultative Commission’s proposed federal charter. / posted July 15, 2018 at 01:30 am by Maricel Cruz
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