Aquino still mum on 2016 bet, won’t back Cha-cha

(TOKYO, Japan) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges pleasantries with Marubeni officials, led by chairman Teruo Asada, during the courtesy call at the Momo Room of the Imperial Hotel on Tuesday (June 01) during his State Visit to Japan. (MNS photo)

(TOKYO, Japan) President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges pleasantries with Marubeni officials, led by chairman Teruo Asada, during the courtesy call at the Momo Room of the Imperial Hotel on Tuesday (June 01) during his State Visit to Japan. (MNS photo)

TOKYO (Mabuhay) – President Aquino still would not say if Interior Secretary Mar Roxas or someone else would be the one he would endorse as his preferred successor in the 2016 elections.

Asked in a forum with the Japan National Press Club, Aquino said he would make his announcement after his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

“When will I endorse? I promised our people I was hoping end of June, but now it seems that I have to, by law, deliver a State of the Nation Address, which is (on) the last Monday of July, and it will be shortly after that that I will endorse the person to our electorate, to our people, as the person I believe who can carry out the continuity,” he said.

The President said he had rejected proposals for him to seek Charter change and lift term limits and run for reelection to prevent abuse, citing the country’s experience during martial law.

He has yet to see a proposal in Congress to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.

“My answer to those who were espousing an extension of terms was, we will undoubtedly have benefits for having a government that will not have to re-learn how to govern, but at the same time we open the doors to somebody who might emulate Mr. Marcos and decide not to leave the office forever. And I think that is a very serious risk that our country, or my country, has to avoid,” he said.

“So I ask that we not consider re-opening the Constitution for term limits. The present joint resolution being worked through by Congress and the Senate deals with economic provisions, and I have yet to see the contents of the same, to see if I can join them in their proposal. I have to study that particular proposal.” (MNS)

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