Duterte cannot extend term when PH shifts to federalism, says Con-com chair
President Rodrigo Duterte cannot extend his term even when the country shifts to a federal government by 2022, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said on Monday.
For Puno, who is also chair of the Consultative committee (Con-com) tasked by Duterte to draft the new federal charter, the President was elected under the 1987 Constitution so he is still governed by its term limits even if the country had already federalized.
“By 2022 we should have already federalized. Meaning, we will no longer have a unitary government, we’ll have a federal government and the powers of the government have already been allocated both to the federal government, the states and the constituent units,” Puno said in a media briefing.
While the transitory provision would still be deliberated by the Committee when they resume session on the second week of April, Puno assured that the panel is not inclined to create or allow any provision that will extend terms of any public official.
“There will be no holdover provision. By the time we have already shifted to a federal form, a new president will be voted,” he stressed.
“As of now the prohibitions and term limits under the 1987 Constitution would still be binding,” he added.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier floated the idea that Duterte’s term may be extended beyond 2022 if the country becomes a federal state.
He also a “no-election (no-el)” scenario in May 2019 is possible, and would extend the terms of lawmakers up for reelection. /kga
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