Six-year term is enough – bishops

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The Catholic Church reacted strongly to a statement of President Benigno Aquino 3rd that he is open to a term extension, declaring that it will not support any move to amend the Constitution and prolong the President’s term beyond 2016.

CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Thursday said he “cannot lend support to the constitutional amendments” that will only benefit those who are in position or a “one office-holder” or “one class of persons.”

“Constitutional amendments are justified only in the measure that they redound to the benefit of the nation and address long-festering problems arising out of ambiguities in the Constitution. We cannot support the proposed curtailment of the power of judicial review,” Villegas told reporters in a text message.

In an interview broadcast on TV5 on Wednesday, the President admitted thinking about amending the Constitution because he sees the need to clip what he described as the “limitless” powers of the Supreme Court.


Aquino said he was against Charter change but has now reconsidered his stance.

“Pero ngayon, napapag-isip ako talaga… yung tinatawag na judicial reach [But now, I’m seriously rethinking things. Because of the judicial reach],” he added.

Villegas explained that “judicial review is the only protection available to ordinary citizens.”

“Against the heavy hand of the State or transgressions of the Constitution by politicians, judicial review is the only recourse of the hapless citizen,” he said.

Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz urged Aquino not to amend the Constitution.

“Tama na yung anim na taon para makapahinga siya. Nasubukan naman pero hindi niya kaya [Six years is enough, he should rest. We have tried him but he fell short],” Cruz said.

Cruz, one of those who endorsed the first impeachment complaint against Aquino, added that the President should truly listen to his bosses–supposedly the people–who are eager to end his term, not to his bosses at the Senate and at the House of Representatives who only want to stay in their “beneficial offices.”

The retired prelate, also a former CBCP president, said Aquino’s dropping trust rating is a sign that his “bosses” are tired of his “useless” administration.

“Pababa na ang ratings nya. Mahirap namang sabihin na pababa nga ratings ng Pangulo, tapos pag nag second term siya ay tataas? Mukhang that is not logical [His ratings are going down. Can we say that his ratings will go up if he gets a second term? I don’t think that’s logical]” he added.

WITH REPORT FROM JEFRY M. TUPAS

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8 Comments

  1. Agree Archibishop Socates Villegas only the Bishop that who are in position will benefit on the donations.Constitutional amendment are justified only in the measure that they redound to the benefit of the nation and address long-festering problem of corruption.Thats what the matuwid na daan policy all about.Just focus on praying so GOD will forgive your sin.Amen

  2. Eliseo Jr.P Tenza on

    Mr. President. Aquino III, I appreciate what you have done for the Philippines for the last 4 years.You have restored investors confidence in the Philippines, and is cleaning up the government of corrupt officials and employees.
    As President, you have taken an oath to defend the Constitution under your term of office.
    How ever, I also believe that there is a need for our constitution to be reviewed.
    However, any changes to the present constitution now, specially the term of office of the President, should only be implemented on the next Presidents term.
    I support a 4 year term with another 4 year reelection for the president.
    Please spend your 2 remaining years by setting a Master Plan and implementing your “Daang Matuwid” so that the next president can just carry on the implementation.
    I wish you luck and hope that all Filipinos are hoping for the continuous improvement of the Philippines.

  3. The Catholic Church must stand for doing the right thing. Making changes that are beneficial to ones self is completely wrong. Making changes to benefit the country have not been even thought about much less proposed. Please continue to speak out against these self-serving proposals.

  4. The CBCP must focus on the spiritual growth of their believers which is their calling from God and not involve themselves in politicking. You must not dwells in the secular rather in the spiritual. You are not trained to read and put into application the voluminous books of the Constitution laws. All you can is to share your personal opinion mixed up with emotions, personal interest and less scope or reading of the realities in politics which compromise and evil minded people abounds. The bible which is your prime duty to read and read and put into action is your highest calling from God. It is not as voluminous like law books. If you will only focus your time and effort to pastors Christians believers, then this political rumblings, corruptions, killings, natural calamities will perhaps reduced tremendously. PH is predominantly Roman Catholics and most politicians and past presidents are catholic faithfuls but see their behaviors reflecting what they learned and heard from your leadership indoctrination. God did not call you as politician but as pastor, teacher, evangelist and Gospel ambassadors. Wake up there are many things more to do to those souls that God have entrusted you.

  5. Samuel Santos on

    Better for the bishops to keep quiet. The more they talk, the more PNoy will persist in doing the opposite of what they say.

  6. Arch. Oskie Cruz is correct, the “bosses” tried King PNoy, pero hindi nya kaya, so what will be the 2nd term all about, worse than today? Or PNoys allied men and women are not yet satisfied with the public money they stole for themselves.

  7. mauricio palao on

    I would respectfully ask…”How long of a tenure does a Bishop have? An Archbishop? A Cardinal? The Pope? Why?