Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo) on Thursday slammed talks about a possible extension for President Rodrigo Duterte, saying the chief executive did not have a monopoly of love for country.
AP/Aaron Favila, File
Alejano on Duterte term extension: President has no monopoly of love for country
Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) - January 11, 2018 - 11:39am

MANILA, Philippines — Another opposition lawmaker panned the possibility of extending the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that the flowery rhetoric on the chief executive's character and intention still will not make this acceptable.

Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo) said in a statement that the country had a system to follow on the length of the terms of elected government officials, and this was put in place to preclude abuses of individuals in power.

"Flowery rhetorics on Duterte's character and intentions cannot make a term extension acceptable. Duterte does not have the monopoly of political will and love for country," Alejano said.

Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan last week warned that there were talks in Congress that Duterte's allies were gunning for a 10-year extension for the president and lawmakers and the removal of ownership restrictions in businesses in the country.

The senator, the president of the opposition Liberal Party, also bared that local officials would be appointed during the said transition period, essentially giving the president powers similar to those wielded by the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The Magdalo representative also blasted the president himself and said that Duterte had shown his capacity to undermine the decency in government and our country's democracy, including democratic institutions and processes and divide Filipinos.

READ: Opposition warns of term extension for Duterte

Alejano, a former military man, also scored the president's detente with China and accused him of comprising the country's national security by feeding it to the Chinese.

"On the contrary, what Duterte is actually capable of doing and has been doing so far is to destroy decency in government, castrate democracy, undermine democratic institutions and processes, divide the nation, and compromise national security by feeding us to the Chinese," the Magdalo solon said.

It was recently reported that China had already transformed the Philippine-claimed Kagitingan reef into an airbase with military facilities. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that Manila would continue to rely on Beijing's supposed "good faith" which he explained was a commitment not to reclaim new features and did not include development of islands already under their control.

Duterte's allies have been spearheading efforts to change the Corazon Aquino-era 1987 Constitution and shift the country's government into a federal system which the president believed would cure the uneven developments of different regions in the Philippines.

Some solons have floated the possibility of extending the term of Duterte and lawmakers supposedly to give the government a transition period as it shifted to a new form of government.

Duterte's spokesperson however has thumbed down such possibility, saying the president is already eager to step down from power.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that the cancelation of elections in May 2019 was possible so as to give officials time to prepare for new polls under the new Constitution but poured cold water on talks on a Duterte term extension, saying that the president already indicated that would step down from power once a new charter was in effect.

Talks on a possible term extension for the president flared last week following Pimentel's assertion that his stay in power would be lengthened if needed.

In a separate message to Philstar.com, he clarified that there was no need to extend Duterte's stint in office since there was enough time left in his term to use as a transition period.

CHACHA AND TERM EXTENSION
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