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Congressman Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Pampanga’s 3rd district representative and an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, wants to shorten the presidential and vice presidential terms to five years with a catch – they can run again for office when their term ends.
Not only that, but the top two officials will now run and be elected as a tandem, similar to what happens in the United States.
The lawmaker filed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 7, which supposedly aims to “strengthen the political party system” and “ensure that the top two officials of the land are one in leading the nation."
Gonzales’ primary concern was political stability, saying that the current term of six years was “too short”, and that a sitting president should be able to run for office again should they intend to continue working on long-term projects.
“A six-year tenure is too short for a good President, especially if he is confronted with a crippling crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc on our health and economy and whose end is not yet in sight,” he said. “It may take more than one presidency before the nation can fully recover from this catastrophe.”
Over two years into the pandemic response of the Duterte administration, active COVID-19 cases are still staggeringly high at 128,114, with a new all-time high of 28,707 newly-recorded cases.
A similar amendment was proposed in 2019, when some members of the House of Representatives were beginning to favor a longer term for lawmakers.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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