This was how Senator Panfilo Lacson described President Rodrigo Duterte saying he had no doubts the chief executive is sincere in saying he had no plans of extending his term beyond 2022.
“I have no reason to doubt he’s not for extending his term beyond 2022. Ang sabi niya pa nga pag naratipikhan na yung bagong charter at naging federal na, bababa na siya (He even said that as soon as the new charter is ratified and a federal form of government is achieved, he would step down),” Lacson said in a press conference.
Lacson made this remark in response to ideas being floated by Duterte’s allies in Congress that he may have to extend his term if the shift to a federal form of government pushes through.
He said that in the few discussions and meetings he has had with Duterte, he saw that the President continued to be “overwhelmed” by the weight of responsibility that comes with being the country’s top official.
“In the few times, we’ve had discussions, meetings with the President I can see that he’s not happy. He says he was really overwhelmed. He didn’t know that being president was such a tough job),” Lacson said.
“He said it in a manner na walang (without) pretensions,” he added.
Lacson, however, said that the intention of some congressmen to float the idea of a term extension could have a “hidden agenda.”
He said the President has mentioned many times that he’s not for a no-election scenario or for a term extension.
He said that there would be a “danger” if amendments to the Constitution will be introduced by lawmakers who would benefit from it.
Like Lacson, Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon earlier reminded congressmen that Duterte is “very clear” when he said that he does not want any extension of term.
The senator earlier described the “no-el” and term extension proposal as “indecent” noting that congressmen were only voting on a proposal that favors them. (PNA)
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