Admin, opposition lawmakers agree on lifting of term limits
Members of the House of Representatives may have their differences on the transitory provisions of the proposed draft Charter, but both administration and opposition representatives agree on one issue: the lifting of term limits.
“This [provision] was a reaction to the long years of the Marcos rule in the country,” opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a briefing on Tuesday.
“I think in the ultimate analysis, you have to empower the electorate [because] the voter should be the one to impose term limits,” Lagman said.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said debates in the House seemed to be “repetitive” because lawmakers did not have “institutional memory.”
In the process of serving many years, committee chairs and members develop expertise on issues they are trying to address, he said.
Term limits are the reason why political dynasties proliferate and why the country has not been able to produce “great” legislators, said Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments.
“Under the 1935 Constitution, there were no term limits. That’s when we had talented legislators like senators [Jose W.] Diokno, [Claro M.] Recto, [Raul] Manglapus … who were good because they had no term limits,” Veloso said.
“It’s different when one has experience in policy making … Knowing how the government has been working all these years, that’s a big thing,” said administration ally and Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon.
The House-recognized minority bloc, led by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, said on Thursday that it was supporting proposals lifting the term limits of all lawmakers.
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