Duterte not interested in extending term; unless Constitution is changed, election in 2019 to push through, Palace says
President Rodrigo Duterte is not interested in extending his term, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
"I can categorically state that PRRD (Duterte) does not want that," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in reaction to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III's statement that Duterte's six-year term may be prolonged if really necessary when the country shifts to federalism.
"He wants to cut short his term rather than lengthen it," he added.
The Duterte administration has been pushing for a shift to federal system of government.
Pimentel said as part of transition period, Duterte's term could be extended.
Roque said election in 2019 would push through unless a new Constitution has been approved by that time.
"Again, the president always looks to the Constitution as his guiding document. The Constitution sets the date for the next elections in 2019. So unless the Constitution is amended ahead of the 2019 elections, it will have to push through," he said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has said it is a possible scenariothere is no election by 2019 if shift to federalism would push through.
"Well, the chief executive, the role of the president is to implement the Constitution and the law. As I said, it is the Constitution that sets when the next election is.
The law required of Congress for election purposes will only enable the spending of public funds in that regard. So unless the Constitution is amended, which includes being ratified by the people prior to the date set in the Constitution, elections will have to push through," Roque explained. Celerina Monte/DMS