Resignations and term extensions
Any thoughts by President Benigno Aquino III to entertain a second term may have been quashed by a survey which showed that 60 percent of Filipinos oppose another six years of an Aquino administration.
The Sept. 8-15 Pulse Asia survey showed that Luzon (71 percent) and Mindanao (52 percent) are against another term extension for Aquino while it’s about half in the Visayas.
The survey results came on the heels of a supposed call from some bishops in the country for President Aquino to resign though this had been denied by, among other Church figures, Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
Vidal, who fought a long and hard campaign against the Reproductive Health Law and even declared that he’d be willing to go to prison if he’s found violating it, denied joining the call much less even suggesting it. A careful study of his speech during the National Transformation Council didn’t indicate he was calling on the President to resign.
The Oct. 1 assembly of the council had a political color to it. Among those who gathered during the event were known Aquino critics and in the previous assembly declared the President as having lost all moral high ground due to the prevalence of corruption in the government.
While the rest of the country may have a different opinion on the issue, based on the survey alone, they feel that the Aquino administration will soon finish its course and a new government should take over from where it had left off.
We may understand the disappointment felt by the Catholic Church on the Aquino administration for its insistence and eventual success in passing the controversial Reproductive Health Law, but there is no definitive call from their hierarchy for the President to step down.
At the same time there’s also no definitive call from the Church for President Aquino or for any future president for that matter to extend his term beyond 2016.
This is a sentiment shared by a growing number of Filipinos who feel that whatever gains or failures achieved by this administration should best be learned from and improved on.
Any major amendments to the existing 1987 Constitution carries with it the possibility of term extension or change of the political system or “system change” that Vidal and others of like minds want the government to pursue.
The President had been accused of a lot of crimes most notably involving the use of pork barrel funds but he will face his accusers the moment he steps down from office which is more than two years from now.
With more surveys indicating that he won’t enjoy similar popular support, Aquino may back down and give way to whoever will be the Filipino people’s choice as his successor which may negate whatever demands made for his resignation.
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