Lifting of term limits open to abuse — bishop

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Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (Photo: CBCPNews)

MANILA, July 27, 2015— Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposal to remove the six-year term limits for presidents may lead to abuse of power, a Catholic bishop said.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said he has reservations about Binay’s idea since it will only allow a sitting chief executive to remain in power for an indefinite period of time.

“There must be a limit of terms. Otherwise, it will just be used by the one in power to stay on and hold on to the position,” Pabillo said.

The 1987 Constitution bars presidents from seeking “any re-election”, while the Vice President can serve for two successive terms of six years.

READ: Binay asks bishops not to believe ‘demolition job’ 

All the elected local officials, on the other hand, have three-year terms, and can only serve a maximum of three consecutive terms before being ineligible for re-election.

Binay earlier said he is open for Charter change on the term limits for president and local officials if he wins the presidency next year.

His camp later clarified that the vice president was only in favor of lifting term limits for local officials, while adopting a four-year term with re-election for president.

However, Pabillo said such a proposal is even worse since it will only divide the attention of the president.

“What would happen if there is a re-election, the official will just work for one or two years then he will start preparing for his re-election,” he said.

The bishop added that the present term limit is already enough if the official is really determined to help the people.

“Six years is already enough if the president is really serious in the changes he wants to implement. If he is a good president, he can do many things in six years,” said Pabillo. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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