By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Aug. 6 (PNA) – Senators found Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ idea of extending the term of President Benigno Aquino III impossible, saying it contradicts the Constitution which allows only one six-year term for the President.
”The term extension needs Charter change and we know that the President is reluctant to any amendment to the Constitution,” Senate President Franklin Drilon said in media interview before Wednesday session.
Drilon, a close ally of the President, said he has not talked with the President about Roxas’ idea of giving President Aquino a chance to extend his term and continue his ‘Tuwid na Daan’ (straight path) governance.
”This is the first time I heard that and the Senate has no plan to change the Constitution,” Drilon said.
Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III said he is against any move to amend the Constitution to extend term of the President.
”Let’s campaign for (next) good president to win but not to amend the constitution. No amendments to prolong the term of the President,” Pimentel said.
Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV said there is no plan to extend the term of the President, adding “it is moot because there is no such thing in the Constitution.”
”If we want to help the President, let’s allow him to do the reforms in the remaining two years of his term and after his term, let’s wish him the best,” Aquino said.
Senator Grace Poe said she understands Roxas’ intention for the President to continue his good and honest leadership.
”But we have the Constitution that provides only one-term for the President. I believe that the President, like his mother, will give way to the next leader,” Poe, who was referring to former President Corazon Aquino, said.
Senate minority member Joseph Victory Ejercito said Roxas’ idea contradicts the President’s adherence to the Constitution “which says that there’s only one term.”
”They would be risking again the credibility of the administration once they pursue their desire to extend their term,” Ejercito said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Nancy Binay is open to the idea of amending the Constitution to extend the term of the President but the time to do it is not in the two remaining years of President Aquino’s term.
”I’m open to the idea that perhaps we should make it two four-year terms like in the United States. Perhaps it’s an option. Perhaps we should study because I think six years is not really enough,” Binay said.
Binay’s father Vice President Jejomar Binay has already expressed intention to run in the 2016 presidential election. (PNA)