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Duterte can run again under draft Charter and Extend his term

Duterte can run again under draft Charter and Extend his term

President Duterte may serve as the country’s Chief Executive until 2030 should he decide to run for re-election under the proposed charter for the federal government envisioned by his administration, according to a member of the consultative committee (Concom) that drafted the proposed federal charter.



Up to 8 years more possible

Julio Teehankee, chairman of the Concom’s sub-committee on political reforms, said there is no ban prohibiting Duterte from seeking the presidency under the proposed federal constitution.

“It’s like a reboot. It’s a reset,” Teehankee told “The Chiefs” aired on Cignal TV’s One News last Wednesday.

“Their term will end in 2022. There’s no ban. They can run under a new constitution,” Teehankee added, referring to Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo.

In the proposed federal charter, all elected officials will have a term of four years, with one possible re-election.

The president and vice president will be elected in tandem, preventing instances when the top two highest officials come from different parties.

Should the new constitution take effect in 2022 at the end of his present term, Duterte will be allowed to run for a fresh four-year term and then another re-election for a term that will end in 2030.

Teehankee clarified, though, that there will be no term extension for any official during the transition to the proposed federal government.

Duterte, 73, has previously dismissed reports of his plan to stay in power, at one point promising to step down should a new constitution take effect.

Critics have warned that the proposed shift to a federal form of government would allow Duterte to extend his presidency.

Political reforms

Their proposed federal charter will introduce new reforms to the political system in the country, according to Teehankee.

Two senators will come from each of the proposed federated regions, which will be governed by local officials under a parliamentary system.

Regional governors and vice governors will not be directly elected, but instead be chosen by members of the regional assemblies composed of representatives elected by the people.

Teehankee said the composition of the Federal House of Representatives will be increased to 400, with 160 seats allocated to a proportional representation system that will replace the party-list system.

For the first three electoral cycles, he said half of the 160 seats would be reserved for five identified marginalized sectors: peasants, workers, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities and fisherfolk.

“These sectors can either form their own sectoral party or coalitions among these five sectors, but they have the entire 80 seats to themselves (for the first 12 years). The rest will be open to other sectors,” Teehankee said.

“The objective really of proportional representation is to encourage party-building,” he added.

Political dynasty, party switching

Teehankee said their proposed charter also includes a self-executing provision banning political dynasties up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.

Elected politicians will also have to give up their seats should they decide to change political parties.

Guest candidacies, or the practice of politicians running in different slates as guest candidates, will also be prohibited.

The Concom also introduced a democracy fund system that will allow the public to provide tax-deductible contributions to political parties they support.

“We have introduced a reform package in order to address party politics in this country,” Teehankee said.

“We have prepared a set of political reforms which is a non-negotiable prerequisite before we embark on this great journey toward federalism,” he added.

Draft not yet available

Teehankee said no draft copy of the proposed federal chapter has been released to the public yet, as he noted that they would have to submit it first to the President this Monday.

“There are no nefarious or any conspiratorial reasons why we are hiding it,” he said.

“In fact, we would want to circulate and disseminate the draft to everyone and we would like everyone to read it and really find out what it’s all about,” he added.

The Concom member said the proposal to shift to federalism would address some problems currently faced by the country, including inequality in the development of regions.

“Federalism is based on the principle of self-rule and shared rule. It’s shared rule, not shared sovereignty. Some individuals, some sectors have the notion that it’s going to break the country into mini-republics. No, that’s not (what) we’re looking at,” Teehankee said.

“We are going to give everyone, the regions, an equal opportunity, the wherewithal to actually craft their own development,” he added.


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Source: Philstar

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