Faced with overwhelming opposition to a Charter Change to allow President Aquino to extend his term beyond 2016, Malacañang has backtracked and assured the public that he is not supporting changes in the Constitution in the last two years of his presidency.
Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. and Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte can resort to all kinds of spins but it is on record (TV5’s interview Aug. 13 interview) that Aquino said he was open to charter change to clip the powers of the Supreme Court and to another term.
But why did Aquino float it in the first place?
We can think of five possible reasons:
1. He doesn’t want to be considered a lameduck.
Online dictionaries define “lameduck” as “A president who is completing a term of office and chooses not to run or is ineligible to run for reelection; politicians who are known to be in their final term of office, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor.
Politicians gravitate to where their interests are served. That means being allied with someone who will be in a position of power for a long time. A possible second term will dissuade those who are thinking of going to the other side to stay on with him.
It’s understandable that Aquino is anxious that he should continue being seen as a source of formidable political clout by members of Congress because he still has some important legislations to pass, one of them the Bangsamoro Law.
Impeachment complaints have been filed against Aquino. It is unlikely to pass in the House with the administration coalition in the majority. A possible second term for Aquino would make an effective disincentive for those who are being convinced to sign on to the complaint.
2. He has not gotten over the unanimous rejection that he got from the Supreme Court of his Disbursement Accelerated Program or DAP.
With his own appointees voting against his pet initiative, Aquino felt betrayed. He had expected some justices voting against it and was told that it would be a close vote, 7-6 in their favor.
When it was 13-0, declaring parts of DAP unconstitutional, Aquino couldn’t take it.
As playwright William Congreve said “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
3. Aquino’s party, the Liberal Party, is desperate who to put up against Vice President Jejomar Binay, the political opposition’s candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, who is far ahead of other possible presidential candidates, in the surveys.
The numbers of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are not improving. It is doubtful if Aquino’s endorsement could carry Roxas to Malacanang in 2016.
If not Roxas, who in LP? Senate President Franklin Drilon? His numbers are no better than Roxas’s.
Aquino’s desire to have a partymate as successor is understandable not only to continue his programs but also to make sure that he would be protected from cases that are expected to be filed against him when he is no longer in Malacañang.
4. He is enjoying being president. Kung makalusot, why not?
5. Type lang niya .
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.