Palace: Moves for term extension to fail
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has acknowledged that efforts to amend the Constitution to extend the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other incumbent officials were “doomed” to fail, because the people would not allow it.
At the same time, Deputy Presidential Spokespersons Anthony Golez and Lorelei Fajardo, in a joint news conference, maintained that the President would step down in 2010, because it was mandated by the Charter.
“We find it [Charter change] to be doomed if it includes term extension because the people themselves will not allow it. We know that the people are not in favor of a term extension,” Golez said.
“We have said this before, the President will step down by 2010. That is why Charter change, if it pushes through, we are not supporting a term extension as far as the President is concerned,” Fajardo said.
Fajardo said that the fate of Charter change ultimately rested on the people because it would be submitted to a plebiscite.
But Fajardo reiterated that the Palace was keeping its hands off on efforts at the House of Representatives, initiated by Arroyo’s allies, to rewrite the 1987 Constitution.
“Congress is independent. They are a separate branch of government. We have to leave it to them,” she said.
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