Binay calls Aquino term extension talk ‘selfish’

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Friday, August 8, 2014

A PROPOSAL to keep President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang beyond June 2016 received a thumbs down on Friday from potential successor Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Binay said calls for Aquino to seek re-election for him to continue his reform agenda is not only "politically divisive" but also "selfish."

"It was a selfish proposal to begin with, motivated more by personal rather than national interest. It was also unfair to the President. The proposal put him on the spot and made him the object of criticisms, which he doesn't deserve," he said in a statement.

Aquino can only seek re-election if Congress, of which he has full control, erases the constitutional provision on a single six-year term for an incumbent president, but the chief executive himself has remained opposed to proposals to amend the charter.

"Those who made the proposal don't know the President. He is a decent person and will not cling to power. He is a student of history, and he won't tarnish his mother's good name just to please some personalities," said Binay, who will run for the presidency in 2016.

Aquino's mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, shunned calls for her to run again in 1992 despite her legal advisers' claim that she was eligible for re-election as she was swept into power a year before the constitution took effect in 1987.

This is because the one-term limit only applies to her successors including her only son.

"As a private citizen, she opposed similar moves by succeeding administrations. I am certain President Noynoy will follow the sterling example of his mother," said Binay.

Calls for term extension sprouted in social media last week, gaining mixed reactions from various groups and individuals close to the President.

Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, reportedly groomed to become the ruling Liberal Party's (LP) bet for president in 2016 polls, favored the idea while Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice is already preparing a resolution seeking to give future chief executives a chance to serve two terms similar to the 1935 Constitution, which allows two four-year terms.

For its part, militant group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said talks about the 2016 elections, including the expression by Aquino’s sisters of possible support for Binay’s presidential bid, are all premature as political alignments are still changing.

“The recent statements of both Roxas and Binay try to hide but further show that there is now a game changer in the 2016 elections -- the movement to remove Aquino from office. Politicians know that their chances are affected and will continue to be affected by the political fortunes of Aquino,” said KMU chairperson Elmer Labog.

Aquino's popularity ratings dipped to an all-time low after his purported economic stimulus package, the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).

He is currently facing three impeachment complaints in the House of Representatives, two of them in relation to the DAP. (Sunnex)

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