Cha-cha could be for Duterte, other officials to stay in power—Atty. Monsod
President Rodrigo Duterte may be pushing Charter change (Cha-cha) to stay in power even beyond 2022, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution said Friday.
Lawyer Christian Monsod, a member of the 1987 Constitutional Commission, said that for the President to stay in power, he has to amend the Constitution.
“If the Duterte administration wants to stay in power longer than 2022, they have to amend the Constitution. Today the President already has gained control of the Congress especially the House, the Supreme Court makes decision that defers to him totally so he has a lot of powers today,” he told ANC’s Early Edition.
“The only thing that he cannot do without changing the Constitution is to stay in power,” he said.
Monsod also observed that the rush to push Charter change may have been triggered by the statement of the military that they’re not willing to support the revolutionary government initially pushed by Duterte.
“The Consultative Committee was in the doldrums for a long, long time then suddenly in January, the President said we will go ahead with this,” he said.
Asked if he thinks federalism was meant to legitimize Dutete’s term extension, Monsod said “I think so. Of course, that’s how Marcos did it.”
He said the Constitution is being manipulated through articulated purpose of helping the people but the real motivation is for officials to stay in power.
“But beneath you can see that people want to stay in power beyond their term and particularly the president, there is no re-election. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution,” the lawyer said.
“And you can put all the articulated purpose to misguide the people, but underneath this is about power,” he added.
Critics say the transition provision of the draft federal Constitution will ensure that Duterte will become the first Federal president.
But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the President will ask Congress to put a provision that would bar himself from running again.
“He is willing to serve in the transition capacity in that scenario, provided it is only until 2022,” he said. /jpv
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