‘Di pwede! Koko rejects re-election for Rody, OK for Leni to run again

Senator Koko Pimentel rejected the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte running for re-election under the new federal constitution, saying that it changes current rules barring presidents from running again.

However, Pimentel, a Duterte ally, told Senate reporters through messaging app Viber on Friday (July 6) that he is fine with Vice President Leni Robredo running again for the same post should the proposed federal constitution be ratified.

‘Di pwede! Koko rejects re-election for Rody, OK for Leni to run again

Senator Koko Pimentel rejected the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte running for re-election under the new federal constitution, saying that it changes current rules barring presidents from running again. However, Pimentel, a Duterte ally, told Senate reporters through messaging app Viber on Friday (July 6) that he is fine with Vice President Leni Robredo running again for the same post should the proposed federal constitution be ratified.

“[I] disagree as to allowing President Duterte to run again. That changes the present rules,” Pimentel said. “Regarding VP Leni being allowed to run again, that’s okay ‘cause under present rules she can really run again.”

The 1987 Constitution bars those who have sat as president from being re-elected as chief executive, but only prohibits vice presidents from sitting for two consecutive terms.

This view differs from that of consultative committee (ConCom) sub-committee chair on political reforms Julio Teehankee, who said in an interview with One News’ “The Chiefs,” that both Duterte and Robredo would be able to run again for the same posts for a fresh four-year term.

“It’s like a reboot. It’s a reset,” Teehankee said Wednesday (July 4).

Under the proposed federal constitution drafted by the ConCom formed by Duterte, the president and the vice president are to be elected in tandem and would have a term of four years and the possibility of one re-election.

Should the proposed constitution be ratified as is by 2022, Duterte may be able to sit at the helm of the country until 2030, if he is elected twice.

The President, 73, has nixed talks of extending his stay in Malacañang, despite critics sounding the alarm that the shift to federalism by changing the Constitution may allow him to stay in power longer.

But Senate President Tito Sotto said nothing is final yet with the draft federal constitution as it would still be subject to the scrutiny of Congress, which may sit as a constituent assembly which would propose and vote on amendments to the Constitution.

“All that will be subject to the perspective of the Constituent Assembly. What is being presented is a framework of the federal proposal. Nothing is written in stone as of now,” Sotto told Senate reporters in a Viber message.

He also said Duterte would not egg Congress to pass the draft constitution as submitted by the ConCom.

“Knowing the President, he will not do that. He has never interfered with us. I doubt if he will interfere now,” Sotto said.

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