PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte rejects both term extension and a no-el scenario in 2019.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque yesterday made it clear the President does not want his term to be extended.
Duterte is averse to the idea and actually wants his term cut short.
“I can categorically state that PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) does not want that. He wants to cut short his term rather than lengthen it,” said Roque in a message to Palace reporters.
He was reacting to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III’s statement that Duterte’s term may be extended if the country shifts to federalism.
Also, Roque said that elections will have to push through.
“Unless the Constitution is amended, which includes being ratified by the people prior to the date set in the Constitution, elections will have to push through,” Roque said during a Palace briefing.
In accordance with the Constitution, 12 senators are to be elected in May 2019 since the terms of 12 sitting senators will expire next year.
Earlier, Alvarez, in a television interview yesterday, said canceling the 2019 mid-term elections could be among the transitory provisions in a new Constitution that would establish a federal system of government in the Philippines .
The shift to federalism is one of the 2018 priorities of the House of Representatives, said Alvarez.
He expressed confidence that Congress would convene into a constitutional assembly in January and that a plebiscite could be held in May this year.
Senate President Pimentel, however, said the shift to federalism does not need to come at the cost of the 2019 elections.