Charter change group eyes giving president two 4-year terms for accountability

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2018 10:26 AM

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MANILA - A member of President Rodrigo Duterte's consultative committee believes giving a sitting president two 4-year terms will make for a more accountable leader. 

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said a sitting president would have to think of accountability to the people if he will face re-election after his first 4-year term.

"A single term of 6 years is not good because basically if you do not allow a re-election, whoever is the president would not be thinking of his accountability to the people because he would not have to face the people in a re-election," he said in an ANC interview. 

The former top judge of the Philippines said the current single term for any president is more of a reaction to the dictatorship of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

Puno said the charter change committee is also proposing to require the president and vice president to be members of the same political party. A president and vice president from different parties is an "abnormality" as two opposing leaders often do not agree in many government programs, he said. 

The consultative committee on charter change is pushing for a presidential-federal form of government, where the president will serve as both head of state and head of government.

But instead of centralizing power with the national government, the country will now have individual states with their own federal legislature and state governments.

Puno said they will be going around the country to consult with the people on their proposed charter change provisions. They plan to submit their draft before Duterte's State of the Nation Address.