DAVAO CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd has reiterated that the next president should only serve a single six-year term.
In what appeared to be a campaign sortie for the Liberal Party held at the SMX Convention Center here, Aquino warned the public against electing a candidate who is out to prolong his stay in power.
“I think it’s wrong that we rely on one person or one group. What will happen if the person is gone? What happens if the group is gone? That’s wrong,” Aquino said in Filipino.
He cited the country’s experience under former president Ferdinand Marcos who perpetuated himself in power.
“He completed his two terms and declared martial law. Before his term ended in ’73, he preempted it and we had martial law. He had 14 years in office,” Aquino said.
Presidents from Manuel Quezon to Marcos were elected under the 1935 Constitution which allowed two consecutive four-year terms.
The system ended in 1972 when Marcos declared martial law and became a one-man ruler until a civilian-military uprising ousted him in 1986.
The President said his successor must be able to implement his platform within the next six years and then pass the baton to the next leader.
Aquino endorsed Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd as the administration’s presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.
“There is someone running who is preparing for his successor. It’s good to have only one term,” Aquino said.
“You must do things that you can do then pass the baton to show that the Filipino nation can stay on the right direction,” he added.
Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier said that a six-year term for a good president is too short.
But Malacañang rejected it, explaining that the term limitation for government officials was imposed to avoid abuse of power and dictatorship.