Home House leaders deny ex-President Duterte’s term extension claims

House leaders deny ex-President Duterte’s term extension claims

House leaders rebuff ex President Duterte’s term extension claims

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – House leaders rebuffed former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s persistent claim that the ongoing push to amend the 1987 Constitution is geared towards term extension.

House Committee on Muslim Affairs chairperson Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo and Assistant Majority Leader Francisco Paolo Ortega stated that ongoing legislative deliberations primarily focus on amending the 37-year-old Charter’s restrictive economic provisions.

“It’s obvious, in black and white, that we’re only dealing specifically with the economic provisions,” Dimaporo said during the daily press conference at the House of Representatives.

He said perhaps Duterte, who he acknowledged is deeply respected and well-loved in Mindanao, “hasn’t been clarified” of the ongoing economic amendments discussions in Congress.

Like Dimaporo, Ortega also stressed that constitutional amendments’ discussions are “purely economic Cha-cha, with no talk of politics or term extensions.”

Duterte has consistently asserted that the primary aim of the Charter change efforts is to extend the term of incumbent elective officials, notably President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

This assertion was reiterated during a recent “prayer rally” in support of embattled religious leader Apollo Quiboloy in Manila, which subsequently evolved into an anti-government demonstration.

In the same press briefing, Aklan 2nd District Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. expressed concern over the political repercussions of Duterte’s actions, warning they could have serious economic consequences for the country.

“The political ripple that he (Duterte) created may burn the house down,” Haresco warned.

Haresco warned that these investments may now be at risk due to perceived political instability, leading to a potential suspension of foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the Philippines.

“There will be some suspended animation from all these targeted [FDIs] into our country with that move of our honored former President Digong,” he said.

Haresco also warned against using God’s name for personal and political gains amid the intensifying political activities leading to the 2025 midterm elections.

Ortega called for suspending political rallies, including prayer gatherings, until the election period, stating it’s too early to engage in politicking. He emphasized that influential individuals should focus on addressing pressing issues.

“I encourage them na tulungan natin ‘yung gobyerno natin, tulungan natin si Presidente Bongbong Marcos kasi napakaaga po ng pulitika, so tulungan po natin ‘yung bansa,” Ortega said.


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