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Palace to oppose term extension

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But wants Charter’s economic provisions changed

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:24:00 11/25/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang vowed to block moves to extend the terms of incumbent officials, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but will support amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution, a Palace spokesman said Tuesday.

If the matter of term extension would require the President’s action, she would veto the measure, and if it is put to a plebiscite, the Palace would “inform everybody that we are against it,” deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said.

But while the Palace has made a clear stand against the term extension, Arroyo would remain “neutral” towards her allies in Congress, and would not interfere with their moves, Golez said.

“Ang importante dito, talagang sinasabi ng Palasyo na hindi kami sasangayon o ibo-block ng palasyo any efforts to extend the term limits of any elected official kasama na po ang Presidente [The important thing is that the Palace is against it, we will block any efforts to extend the term limits of any elected official, including the President],” he told a news conference at the Palace.

Golez said Arroyo has been “consistent” with her stand that economic provisions in the charter should be revised.

“As a matter of fact, [during the] 2004 election, the President’s reform platforms include reforms in the Constitution that will help boost our economy. We are not denying that, because it’s an open thing, but the most important thing it is Congress that will initiate
and end it,” he said.

Should the term extension come in the form or legislation, Golez said Arroyo would veto it.

“For example, if that [term extension] passes in Congress and is elevated to the Executive for signing, the President will not approve of that, she will not sign it and return it to Congress,” Golez said.

“If it is put to a plebiscite, then we will try to inform everybody that we are against the extension of the term of any elected official,” he said.

But when asked if Arroyo would influence her allies not to include term extension in efforts to amend the Charter, Golez said: “It’s hard to say that we will influence, but we are sending our sentiments.”

“The President, in those matters and issues, will be on the neutral side. She maintains neutrality. She will leave that to members of the coalition,” he said, when asked if Arroyo, as leader of the ruling administration coalition, would tell her allies not to push for a term extension.

“Campaigning against term extension, that is the most concrete thing that the Executive can do,” he said.

Asked about a resolution filed before the House of Representatives that seeks to postpone the 2010 elections and extend Arroyo’s term until 2011, Golez said it was premature to comment on a pending measure.

“That’s a proposal, tingan natin ang susunod na kabanata dahil it would be premature to discuss certain issues na pinorpose pa lang ngayon [let’s wait for further developments because it would be premature to discuss certain issues that are just being proposed],” he said.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-11-25T09:44:26+00:00UTC11bUTCTue, 25 Nov 2008 09:44:26 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

Posted in Uncategorized

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