MANILA, Philippines – For Consultative Committee (Con-Com) chairman and former chief justice Reynato Puno, President Rodrigo Duterte will not get a term extension under the federal constitution to be proposed.
Puno, speaking in a press briefing on Monday, March 26, said the committee's current thinking is that the 1987 Constitution – including the term limits for president – will still apply during the transition to a federal government.
"The term limit in the 1987 Constitution holds.... The limits under the 1987 Constitution will still apply," he said.
Under the current constitution, the president serves for a maximum of 6 years and cannot seek reelection.
Thus, if this setup is followed, Duterte must step down in 2022, something he declared he would do. He had even said he would leave the presidency earlier, if the Philippines is able to transition to a federal system of government as early as 2020.
Critics of the President fear Charter Change would include a term extension for Duterte, as had been the fear when previous administrations proposed it.
However, while following the 1987 Constitution provision on term limits is the current thinking of many Con-Com members, it will still be voted on when the group discusses the transitory provisions.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.