President Benigno Aquino 3rd has been urged to honor the legacy of his parents by “declaring once and for all an end to his term in 2016.”
In a statement on the eve of the commemoration of National Heroes Day, former Manila Rep. Benny Abante, now chairman of the Bayan Mamamayan Abante Movement, on Sunday opposed any move to amend the 1987 Constitution to give the President six more years in office.
“Heroes, the likes of Ninoy and Cory, believe in true people empowerment. They know that reforming a nation is the task of everyone. They were never either so drunk with power to think that change is impossible without them at the helm of leadership. It would be best for the [incumbent]President to follow their example,” said the former lawmaker.
President Aquino is the eldest and the only son of late former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.
Mrs. Aquino stepped down after her six-year term (1986-1992) ended.
Abante’s unsolicited advice came as a response to Aquino’s statement that he would consider a second term if the Constitution were to be amended, if only “to ensure the permanence of reforms instituted during his term.”
Mrs. Aquino was “on the same crossroads and she stayed the course. She took the moral high ground. She chose not to mobilize a Congress to allow her a second term, even if her allies constituted the majority. She too could have said that it was the will of her ‘bosses,’ the people, but she did not,” the former lawmaker recalled.
The then-President had refused calls to extend terms of office—both hers and that of her successor, Fidel Ramos—saying the “honor of the presidency is so great, no one needs to have it more than once.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Mrs. Aquino’s traditional ally, earlier issued a similar reminder to the incumbent President.
“What is important is that the voice he hears is an authentic and genuine voice, not one manufactured by quarters with vested interests [which]are driven mainly by self-preservation,” Binay had said.