Solons favor lifting of term limits

July 29, 2009 9:32 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, July 29 — The committee on Constitutional amendments of the House of Representatives on Wednesday said it is set to discuss next month the economic and political provisions of the Constitution, particularly the lifting of term limits, except for the position of the President, as majority of congressmen have expressed support for such measure.

Committee chair and La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, in an interview with reporters, said "majority of our colleagues insists on the lifting of the term limits, not just extension or fixing of their terms. Lifting. Continuous. All positions except that of the President’s," he said.

In exempting the position of the President, Ortega said, "my colleagues believe that the term of the President should be left as is, a six-year term without re-election. This is to allay fears and avoid the return of dictatorship."

He however stressed that those in their last term now may not benefit from the proposed political amendment due to lack of time.

"Even if Congress will convene itself into a Constituent assembly (Con-ass), under the law, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has 60 days and not more than 90 days within which to schedule the plebiscite. So for lack of time, those in their last term now may not benefit from this amendment," he said.

He further explained that the debate on amending House Resolution 737, which amends the economic provisions of the Constitution, would already take time and adding the political provision of the Charter would further use up time.

The La Union congressman said HR 737, authored by Speaker Prospero Nograles, would be the subject of debate by the plenary this August.

He said lawmakers hope the political provisions would catch up on the economic provisions in the plenary.

"We have scheduled the deliberation on the lifting of term limits on the second and last Tuesdays of August," he said. (PNA)

DCT/LGI

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