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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rody OK with amending Charter if Marcos won’t get longer term

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Former President Rodrigo Duterte said he is “okay” with amending economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution but not those that will extend the term and favor the current administration.

In a prayer rally in Cebu on Sunday night, Duterte said he will “operate with” Mr. Marcos for “as long as [Charter change] would not be intended to benefit the incumbent [president].”

“This means, Marcos, will only have one term – six years,” he said in the vernacular.

“And he will amend the Constitution, join him and I will operate with him but it should not be applicable to him,” Duterte added.

He said Filipinos are already “comfortable” with a six-year term for presidents with a one-term limit.

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“One term, let us stick to that,” he said.

“Mr. President, you were elected under a Constitution for one term of six years, be happy with that. Just be happy with that, you are already there. God has written that you have been given a blessing to serve your land of birth,” Duterte added.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, for his part, said only economic matters and not political provisions shall be covered by the Congress deliberations.

“Our mission is clear to all of us today: Change some economic provisions that prevent the entry of businesses from other countries. Businesses that will create jobs and stimulate our economy. This is our only goal. Economy, not politics,” Romualdez told his colleagues as he opened the plenary-like Committee of the Whole House deliberations on economic amendment proposals contained in Resolution of Both Houses No. 7.

Senator Francis Tolentino said the Upper Chamber also has no plans of touching political provisions in the Charter.

“I think there was already a meeting of the minds that we will only tackle the economic provisions,” he said.

House leaders welcomed former Duterte’s expression of support to efforts to liberalize restrictive economic Charter provisions.

“I am happy with the change of heart of the former president, but it would be better if those who support him also reflect on the position of the former president,” Deputy Speaker David Suarez said.

Taguig Rep. Amparo Maria Zamora added: “That’s exactly what we’ve been saying from the beginning that we’re pushing for Charter change just to push for these economic amendments. So maybe our well-respected former President Rodrigo Duterte is seeing the clarity that this is really what many administrations and of course the 19th Congress have been pushing for a long time.”

Isabela Rep. Faustino Dy III hailed Duterte’s statement as a “welcome development.”

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