FOR SENATOR Bam Aquino, reports about his cousin’s ambition to stay in power is a result of a media hype, maintaining that President Benigno Aquino III does not intend to stay in power contrary to reports.
The senator, who visited Davao City last week, said there was nothing about the statement of his cousin that could directly be attributed to his desire to extend his term.
“I think it was overhyped by the media,” Aquino told 105.9 Balita Fm in Davao City. “If you will base it on his interview, he said he is not necessarily looking for a second term. It did not come from him.”
The president has admitted in a TV interview that he is open to amending the constitution to address the extent of power of the Supreme Court. He also said he will listen to the people who are calling for him to stay as president.
Aquino said he will vouch for the president, saying he does not have any ambition to stay in power for long.
“What I know of him is that he is really looking forward to stepping down and going back to the private sector and to have a more quiet life after 2016,” the senator said.
The president’s statement must not be construed as him supporting calls for Charter Change.
“He said he might be open for a Charger change on judicial reform, or even other reforms, but it does not necessarily mean that he is looking for a second term,” the senator said. “The media suddenly reported that he will run, as if it is really a go,” he said. “Until it comes from you, I believe that he is really looking forward to finishing his term.”
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Constitutional reforms and term extension are part of a grand design for Aquino to get away from accountabilities.
“They are looking at all the possibilities, closing everything, including term extension and Charter change,” said the lawmaker from Mindanao. “And for these to become palatable, they are feeding these to the lawmakers.”
Earlier, Senator Francis Escudero has warned that a Constitutional amendment based on term extension will result in mayhem as members of Congress and Senate will not allow it if their terms will also be not stretched.
“What they are exploring, as we can see, is very self-serving, very selfish,” Zarate said.
Even Mayor Rodrigo Duterte frowned at the reasons being laid down behind the extension of the term of the president. Some allies of the president said he must be allowed to rule the country back to save the democracy.
“I am pissed off by these reasons,” he said, adding that these justifications are nothing but “hogwash.”
“You can say that you want him to stay because he is really honest or because you want to sustain the developments he started, but not because you want to save the democracy,” he said. ” There is nothing wrong with our democracy. Do not give us a hogwash.”
Zarate said if the term limit for Aquino is lifted, his cohorts will continue to grip power. | JMT, NewsDesk