No "creeping dictatorship" in Palace-backed Cha-cha, official says
Malacanang assured on Thursday "creeping dictatorship" would not happen as Congress pushes for Palace-backed Charter change.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement in response to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines' "pastoral guidelines for discerning the moral dimension of the present-day moves for Charter change."
"We understand the sentiments of the Catholic bishops for their aversion to Charter Change and federalism. We however assure our bishops that the President has no interest to extend his term nor will he push for no election," he said.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte "has made it clear and unequivocal, as an advocate of the rule of law he will follow the Constitution and step down when he finishes his term at noon of June 30, 2022."
"There is no creeping dictatorship that the Catholic hierarchy fears will happen," Roque stressed.
The CBCP raised concern on Jan. 29 that moves to amend the 1987 Constitution becomes "self-serving" as there were calls for term extensions or no elections.
They added that Charter Change moves must have transparency and accountability, clarity and purity of motives.
"When the move for Charter change becomes self-serving, such as when it calls for 'No-El' (no elections) and pushes for an extension of terms of office, it is to be expected that citizens would react with suspicion, astonishment and exasperation. In addition, the feeling of a creeping dictatorship is conjured by past experience," said the CBCP. Celerina Monte/DMS