Roque: Duterte denies he’s seeking term extension
DAVAO CITY—Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday allayed fears of a no-election (no-el) scenario as floated by several allies of the President in Congress, saying the law has mandated the conduct of the polls next year.
In a press briefing here, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also doused speculations that President Rodrigo Duterte was seeking an extension of his stay in Malacañang beyond 2022.
“Unless and until the Constitution is amended and ratified by the people, elections will push through in 2019,” Roque said.
READ: Roque: Duterte has no wish to extend term
The presidential spokesperson assured the public that the next midterm elections under the present 1987 Constitution will be credible and honest.
Malacañang made the clarification in the wake of pronouncements by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of a possible no-el (no election) scenario, which was seconded by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III who said Duterte may stay as president after his six-year term if the form of government became federal.
“As I said the President has no wish to extend his term. If the Constitution can be amended to provide for provisions that would strengthen public accountability, he has said he is willing to cut short his term,” Roque said. “The idea of prolonging his term is out of the question,” he added.
Even if extending the President’s term would be allowed under a new Constitution, Roque said Duterte had already rejected the idea of holding on to office after his term expires.
He said the President was amenable to stepping down ahead of the expiration of his tenure “if we can amend the 30-year old Charter and have provisions that will minimize graft and corruption.”
“He will even resign prior to the end of his term of office in 2022. So the President is considering shortening his term but has definitely rejected even the idea of prolonging (it),” the presidential spokesperson said. /jpv
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