A six-year presidential term is sufficient continuity



“Let another administration take over the task of running this country well.”

It is quite possibly true that most Filipinos find the idea of ​​President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president in next year’s elections unacceptable. There are several reasons for this. The idea that a President of the Republic resigns and then runs for second place in the country sets a bad precedent. It is an act that lacks dignity. More importantly, a Rodrigo Duterte run for vice-president bears all the hallmarks of a bare attempt to sidestep the spirit of the constitutional provision limiting a president to a six-year term. Another reason why most Filipinos have difficulty accepting the idea of ​​Rodrigo Duterte’s candidacy for vice-presidency is the reason put forward by Mr. Duterte and his supporters to justify his pursuit of second place in the country. “The president wants continuity in policymaking,” one supporter recently said. “President Duterte wants to be assured that the policy of his administration will be continued,” he added. Partisan statements suggest that a president should not resign after a single constitutionally mandated term, but should be allowed, in the interests of “continuity,” to stay and carry on with the program and policies he has started. during his tenure. Continuing this logic, in the name of “continuity”, stay in Malacanang for a total of 12 or 18 or even 24 years. This idea causes a return to the leadership structure of this country prior to the 1973 Constitution. Under the previous Constitution, that is, the 1935 Constitution, the President of the Philippines was limited to a maximum of two terms. of 4 years. The main objection to this arrangement was that the President had tended to spend the first of two terms preparing for his second election campaign, to the detriment of good national governance. The remedy for this, in the view of most delegates to the 1970-1972 Constitutional Convention, was to remove the two four-year terms and replace them with a single, but longer term. The single mandate would have a duration of 6 years. Delegates to the 1970-1972 Constitutional Convention reached a consensus that six years was a long enough time and that a president should be able to carry out his program of government over a six-year period. What they should have added, but did not do, is that a president could not be a good chief executive if he had not made a difference after six years for the nation and that its program of government was still not completed. In almost every way, Rodrigo Duterte’s government program has been a failure. Economic growth, social development, infrastructure, judicial stability, corruption, illegal drugs, poverty reduction, the former mayor of Davao City has not kept his campaign promises of 2016. So, what need for “continuity”? What is there to continue? To the first question, the answer is none; to the second question, the answer is nothing. Enough about “continuity” for the government program of the Duterte administration. Time is up. Let another administration take over the task of running this country well.

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