MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Monday added his voice to those opposing Charter change, even vowing to block such proposal if it reaches the Senate.
“Hindi ko papahintulutan mangyari o maganap ang pag-amyenda sa Konstitusyon lalo na partikular kung ang pag-uusapan ay term extension o pag-aalis ng term limits,” Escudero said during the weekly press conference Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel.
Escudero made the statement a day after President Benigno Aquino III said in a television interview that he might consider extending his term if there is strong public clamor for it.
Escudero said so far, no senator has filed a resolution calling for amendments in the 1987 Constitution. He added that nothing is concrete yet when it comes to pronouncements about plans in the 2016 elections.
“Lahat ng mga proklamasyon at pahayag tungkol sa eleksyon 2016 ay puro drawing lamang at kathang-isip pa lamang dahil napakalayo at napakatagal pa ng eleksyon. Positioning lamang ‘yan at ‘ika nga, porma lamang ‘yan,” he said.
Earlier, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has been open about his plans of running for president in 2016, rejected the potential term extension, describing the move as “selfish” and “politically decisive.”
Former Senator Rene Saguisag, a close political ally of Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, echoed Binay, saying he will not support the incumbent President should he run for reelection in 2016.
Former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who was a Cabinet official during Mrs. Aquino’s term, has earlier said he believes President Aquino will not push for a term extension.
Likewise, Escudero claimed that Aquino’s supposed intention to extend his six-year term may be a plan to avert the “lame duck” tag.
“Lagi namang pinag-uusapan ang Cha-cha sa dulo ng termino para hindi ituring na lame duck ang Presidente,” he said.
“Ang Cha-cha dapat ginagawa ‘yan sa simula ng termino ng sinumang Pangulo para walang alinlangan, walang duda na ito ay para sa kapakanan ng lahat at hindi lamang ng iilang pulitiko o kandidato,” Escudero added. (MNS)