Press Release
September 22, 2008

Gordon to resist moves to extend term limits before 2010

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today said he will resist all efforts by some quarters, including the Arroyo administration, to lift the one-time, six-year term limit of President Arroyo that would allow her to perpetuate herself to power beyond 2010.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate constitutional amendments committee, issued the categorical statement to allay fears by former government officials and civic groups that efforts to amend the Constitution was intended to extend the President's term of office.

"We shall vigorously stand against any moves to extend the President's term limit of office. Let it be clear to all that opening up the Constitution to possible amendments or revisions should only be done after the May 2010 elections," he said.

Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO) and the Black and White Movement have earlier cautioned the public against what they call "undying moves" to lift Mrs. Arroyo's constitutional term limit that would allow her to perpetuate herself to power.

They have launched a nationwide signature campaign aimed at frustrating the Arroyo administration's alleged sinister move to exploit the Mindanao situation to place the country under martial law and subsequently, extend her term of office.

Gordon, however, said that while he acknowledges the legitimate apprehensions by some quarters, public debate and consultation on the merits of opening up the 1987 Constitution to amendments or revisions, notably on federalism, should proceed.

"We want to move our country in the right direction and we do not want to go back and forth on the issue of changing the Constitution. I recognize some people's apprehension, but we also need to let the Filipino people get into the process of change," he said.

While he insisted that no incumbent officials will benefit from moves to alter the Charter, Gordon explained he is amenable to the idea of reviewing the constitutional provision on term limits, particularly in allowing the President two terms of four years.

"Nothing is carved in stone, but we are keeping an open-mind on all issues and perceived flaws that needed to be rectified in the present Constitution. Discussions on possible changes in the Constitution are not limited to term limit extension," he said.

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