Duterte says to shun term extension even if handed on 'silver platter'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2021 07:31 PM

Duterte says to shun term extension even if handed on 'silver platter' 1
President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people from the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on Jan. 13, 2021. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he does not want to stay in power beyond the end of his term in 2022, amid speculation that his allies' push for charter change was aimed at extending officials' stay in office.

Duterte said he sought reforms in Constitutional provisions as he was "sad" that some public funds go to communists.

"A sad commentary is that lahat sa Pilipinas bumibigay—lahat, without exception. Kaya nga hinihingi kong Congress, akala nila talagang mga term extension," he said in a speech during the inauguration of Skyway 3.

(A sad commentary is that everyone in the Philippines falls to this without exception. That is why I asked Congress to address this, some thought I was asking for term extension.)

"My God. Maski ibigay mo sa akin in a silver platter maski ibigay mo sa akin libre another 10 years, sabihin ko sa ‘yo, p****** ***, tapos na ako," said Duterte, who has several times expressed exhaustion in his role as the country's highest official.

(Even if you give that to me on a silver platter, even if you give me another 10 years for free, son of a b****, I'm done.)

Duterte wanted lawmakers to amend the Constitution to remove or change the party-list system, which he alleged is being used by the Communist Party of the Philippines, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said last week.

The charter change drive has ignited speculation on social media that lawmakers want to change the constitutional term limits on elected officials.

"Tsismis lang po 'yan," Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque recently said.
"The President has made it clear, wala po s'yang kahit anong kagustuhan na manatili ng isang minuto man lang beyond his term of office on June 30 of 2022," he told reporters in an online briefing.

(That is just a rumor. The President has made it clear, he does not have any desire to stay in power for even a minute beyond his term of office on June 30 of 2022.)

Duterte's allies, Senators Francis Tolentino and Ronald Dela Rosa, filed in December a resolution for both houses of Congress to convene as a Constituent Assembly to discuss limited amendments to the Constitution, specifically on provisions on democratic representation and economy.

Charter change "is the sole constitutional prerogative of Congress and we respect that," said Roque.

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