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Is Malacañang open to a term extension for Aquino?

/ 02:12 PM August 06, 2014
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Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. KRISTINE SABILLO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – Is Malacañang backing calls to extend the term of President Benigno Aquino III?

It is not yet sure, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Wednesday, despite the constitutional provision against term extension or re-election of a president.

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However, when asked if they agree with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ wish for Aquino to have a longer term, Lacierda said that “the President listens to the voice of his bosses (the people).”

“May mga sariling opinion may ibang nagsasabi ipagpatuloy. Kung ako ang tatanungin…the president is sensitive to the voice of his boss. So let’s just wait for that” was the spokesperson’s enigmatic answer.

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(There are different opinions, with some saying he should continue. But if you will ask me…the President is sensitive to the voice of his boss. So let’s just wait for that.)

Lacierda said the calls for an additional or longer term were reflective of the performance of the administration.

“We’re very thankful of the support and expression of preference for another term. Maraming salamat po sa mga ganung klaseng sentimyento (Thank you very much for those kinds of sentiments),” he said.

“And it is not only now…It has been ongoing because of the profound changes that have happened under this administration,” he added.

The spokesperson added that Aquino and his officials have yet to consider the issue.

“There has been no discussion on that but like I said the President listens to the voice of his bosses,” he said.

He also pointed out that Aquino had already expressed his position on charter change – that he has yet to be convinced that it is needed.

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When the campaign started to gain ground on social media, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. over the weekend denied that the Palace had a hand in spreading the campaign, citing that the constitution only allows one term of six years for the President.

“Unang-una po ay malinaw ang sinasabi sa ating Konstitusyon na ang bawat halal na Pangulo ay mayroon lamang iisang anim na taon na termino. Kaya kahit na ano man po ang sabihin nila, ang Saligang Batas po natin ang iiral hinggil diyan,” Coloma said in the interview Sunday.

(First of all, the constitution clearly states that a president only has one six-year term. The constitution will always prevail.)

Asked if Malacañang will push for the amendment of the Philippine Constitution in case millions of supporters call for Aquino’s re-election, Lacierda said, “I can’t answer that. It’s quite speculative.”

2016 tactic? 

Lacierda also denied that a term extension or re-election was being floated because of the belief that the Liberal Party will not do well during the 2016 elections.

“No it is not a factor. I know that they are not members of the LP but people have approached me (to express their views on the term election of the President),” he said. “Again Sec. Mar Roxas is expressing a personal preference not a party stance.”

The spokesperson added that the Aquino administration will not be distracted from such issues.

“We’re concerned with the here and now. We’re concerned with dealing with the concerns of the people. We‘re fully committed to serving until 2016,” he said.

During an interview with ANC’s Lynda Jumilla Tuesday, Roxas said Aquino should be given a longer term because of his “tuwid na daan (right path)” campaign.

He emphasized that it was his personal sentiment, something he has yet to discuss with the Liberal Party or the President.

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Originally posted: 1:13 pm | Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Edwin Lacierda, Malacañang, Mar Roxas, re-election, term extension
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