Palawan lawmaker backs term extension

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPalawan Rep. Douglas Hagedorn said yesterday that Filipinos have the right to extend the term of a good president.

They have also the right to remove a bad president, said Hagedorn, among the growing number of legislators who supportthe move to extend the term of President Aquino to ensure that the reforms he has initiated will be sustained.

In a statement, Hagedorn said the right to rebel or to take up arms against a despotic leader is one of the most basic rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, in Section 1, Article 2.

According to him, Filipinos have exercised this basic right twice – in 1986 and in 2001 – overthrowing two presidents whose administrations were marked by despotism, human rights violations, and graft and corruption.

If the Constitution recognized and enshrined this right, more so, Hagedorn said, the 1987 Constitution did not prohibit any term extension in favor of a good president.

Any term extension, he said, can only be realized and exercised through a constitutional amendment process, which is peaceful and legal.

“If majority of the members of Congress, who represent the people, believe that the President deserves another term, we, the people’s representatives, should freely express this forthright and do our job, and not be intimidated by the noisy minority. Responsible leaders of the Liberal Party should not repress or stifle us,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn said Filipinos can show their gratefulness to the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino and President Corazon C. Aquino by rewarding their son with a term extension.

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