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Petitioning The Filipino People

Reject calls for term extensions

The limitations on the term of the President of the Republic of the Philippines are enshrined in the 1987 Constitution as a repudiation by the Filipino people of the idea that a President could be so good that he should not be replaced when his term ends.

This is important because the mandatory replacement of Presidents after six years protects the Filipino nation from the depredations of would be tyrants. It ensures that the font of leadership is continuously refreshed and therefore kept clean, reasonably free from the taint of vested interests and despotism, no matter how benign it may seem at the moment.

To eliminate those term limitations, while it may permit a good President to seek a fresh mandate, would be to render the nation vulnerable to whims and caprices of a bad President in the event that such a one ever manages to occupy the highest public office. In essence, therefore, eliminating those limitations is tantamount to sacrificing long-term security for the mere possibility that the present occupant might do more good, and banking on the hope that he won't eventually turn bad himself.

Today, those limitations face the strongest and most credible threat ever brought against it. It is true that others may have sought to eliminate those limitations before, but never has that move been endorsed by anyone as influential as the current President. 

And it is precisely under these circumstances that the Filipino people must be most vigilant. To his credit, the current President has won the respect of many for his stance on corruption and his reformatory zeal. Neither his accomplishments however, nor his perceived incorruptibility are reason enough to sanction a virtual return to monarchy.

If the President is sincere in his desire to see his reforms continued - and there is no reason to believe otherwise - there are avenues open to him to accomplish exactly that without riding roughshod over the Charter.

He has repeatedly said that he will listen to the voice of his bosses. This petition seeks only to offer him the true voice of his bosses - the Filipino nation that is composed not only of those who believe in him, but also of those who feel that the opportunity for change should not be undermined.

 

 

 

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  • The Filipino People

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