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Duterte won’t cling to power, aide says

President Duterte has no ambi­tion to cling to power and will not support any bill or Charter amend­ment to extend his six-year term, according to a Palace official.

Instead, the President is com­mitted to build on the administra­tion gains in the campaign in ad­dressing corruption and poverty as he marked his second year in office, said his assistant Christo­pher Go.

“We don’t have ambitions of clinging to power, neither will we push for laws that would re­sult to such,” Go said in a state­ment. “The President will always want a clean and graft-free gov­ernment and he has proven this many times by firing officials he appointed,” he added.

Former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, head of a committee tasked to review the amendments to the Constitution, has proposed that Duterte lead a 10-member transition commission as the na­tion prepares a shift to a federal government by 2022. Under the proposal, the commission will formulate and adopt a transition plan for the shift to the new fed­eral system of government based on the new Constitution.

It will also organize and estab­lish the federal government and the governments of the federated regions. The transition period will take place from 2019 to 2022.

The President has repeatedly re­fused to prolong his stay in power, saying he was old and exhausted. He has even offered to cut short his six-year term to allow the as­sumption of a new leader under a federal government.

Go highlighted the President’s achievements since he assumed office in 2016, including pouring funds for better social services.

“We have seen numerous infra and economic development proj­ects, laws signed and implement­ed, and social welfare, health, and education programs put into place in the last two years,” he said. “This is a testament of what Presi­dent Duterte clearly wants for the country and for the Filipinos,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)