PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd said some sectors are urging him to do a Gloria Arroyo and run for another position in the 2016 elections so he can actively pursue the reforms he initiated during his regime.
Speaking to members of the Filipino community in Tokyo where he is on a state visit, Aquino said on Tuesday night: “There were suggestions that I should have my term extended so I could continue with the reforms I initiated.”
“When I told them that I’m not in favor of amending the Constitution so that my term could be extended, they now have a new idea. Why don’t I run for another elective position?” the President said in Filipino.
“I’ve been repeatedly asked that question and I’ve been asking myself, ‘What could be the motive of these people’ and then I realized, I should consider running for another post as it would be better if I stayed in the limelight so that I could immediately be available when I’m needed to step in,” he added.
Arroyo, who was Aquino’s predecessor, ran for one of the congressional seats representing her native Pampanga province as she wound up her term in 2010.
Aquino was previously rumored to be toying with the idea of amending the Constitution to extend his term. The President categorically denied this, saying he did not want to tamper with the legacy of her mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino. The 1987 Constitution was drafted and enacted under the first Aquino administration.
The Constitution gives the President a single six-year term and he or she is not eligible for reelection. Arroyo, who was the country’s incumbent leader in 2004, was allowed to run for President as she was deemed to be serving the remainder of the term of President Joseph Estrada who was impeached and later deposed in 2002.
The President said while his Administration has made inroads in institutionalizing reforms, a lot still needs to be done in fighting corruption.
“May I just emphasize that this is just the start of the reform process. We need to continue this. We need to make those who sinned against the state account for their wrongdoing. We need to reject the culture of corruption and be freed from the shackles of poverty. Let us not forget that there are people around who want to bring us all back to the crooked system,” he noted.