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Extension of Rody’s term proposed

By: Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte could extend his term until 2025 under the proposed federal parliamentary government, according to head of a Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) of the Philippines.

Lito Lorenzana, chair of the CDP and president of the Centrist Democracy Political Institute, proposed the term extension for Duterte during the transition period from the unitary presidential system, citing his “political will” to implement federalism.

Under the CDP proposal, Lorenzana said changes to the Constitution, particularly the shift to federal-parliamentary government, must be introduced next month, followed by a plebiscite by February 2019.

He said the parliamentary elections will then be conducted not later than May 2020 “to organize the first unicameral parliament under the newly-ratified Constitution with a term of five years up to 2025.”

“Then the incumbent President Duterte, now in a parliamentary form of government in 2022, shall continue – this is very important – shall continue his dual presidential role as head of state and at the same time as head of government leading and presiding over the new unicameral parliament,” he said.

Lorenzana said President Duterte may also step down by May 2022 to pave the way for his successor elected by the parliament. “Or if the people want or then you put that – you provide that in the transitory provisions of the new Constitution that he will still serve up to that year, okay. This is a choice of the people,” he said.