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Six years too short for a good President —VP Binay


(UPDATED 7:38 p.m.) The opposition's presumptive standard-bearer in the 2016 elections believes six years in Malacañang is too short for a good President.

In a news forum on Wednesday, Vice President Jejomar Binay indicated he was in favor of a four-year term for the country’s President and Vice President, with reelection.

“Six years is too long for a bad administrator but too short for a good one. Ibalik na lang iyong four years with reelection,” Binay said.

Binay added that he was not in favor of term limits for officials in elective positions.

“Sa simula pa lang, hindi ako payag sa term limits. Hanggang gusto ng taumbayan na manilbihan (ay dapat payagan),” Binay said.

Binay was a human rights lawyer during the Marcos administration that lasted from 1965 to 1986.

Marcos was elected to two four-year terms and then declared martial in 1972. A new constitution gave legitimacy to his administration that extended to 1986 when People Power forced him into exile.

Asked if he agreed that Charter change should be pushed now, Binay agreed that amendments to the economic provisions may be pursued but not those on the political.

“Sang ayon ako sa pagbabago ng 60-40 restrictions sa investors. Isang dahilan yan kung bakit ayaw mag-invest sa atin,” he said.

“Yong sa mga... sa economic (pwede at this point) sa aking palagay. (Iyong sa political) sa ibang oras na,” he told reporters.

Non-consecutive terms

In Malacañang, President Benigno Aquino III's spokesman said the Chief Executive disagrees with Binay on the points the latter raised regarding presidential term limits.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda said Aquino firmly believes in having just a single term for Philippine presidents.

“The logic in a single-term presidency is that the President can focus on all that needs to be done within the six-year term,” Lacierda told reporters during the briefing.

Lacierda added that Aquino does not believe a president has “to wait for another four years to make good on his promises on the first four years.”

Although he earlier rejected reelection, President Benigno Aquino III  recently suggested the Philippines consider the possibility of non-consecutive terms for its Presidents.

“Certain countries, like the South American countries, also went through a similar period [of Martial Law]," Aquino told reporters during his state visit in Japan.

"In their constitutions, a sitting president has to step down, but can re-run after the intervention of a different administration. Perhaps that is something that the Philippines can consider,” the President said when asked if he was in favor of extending the six-year term for Philippine presidents.

Aquino said he didn't agree to such suggestions.

He cited the Philippines’ experience under the late dictator Marcos.

“My answer to those who were espousing an extension of terms was, we will undoubtedly have benefits for having a government that will not have to re-learn how to govern, but at the same time we open the doors to somebody who might emulate Mr. Marcos and decide not to leave the office forever,” Aquino said

“I think that is a very serious risk that our country, or my country, has to avoid,” he added.

Binays against anti-dynasty bill

The Vice President and members of his family are also against the constitutional provision prohibiting political dynasties.

With three other members of her family serving in the government, the Vice President's daughter Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday said there should be no law that would limit families who want to serve the people through elected posts.

“Para kasi sa amin mas important is the will of the people, di ba? We subject ourselves to an election process. So ang number one din na kailangan is to ensure a clean and honest election,” she said when asked if she supports the anti-political dynasty bill.

Aside from the Vice President and the senator, other Binays in government include Makati Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay, and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay.

The Vice President was mayor of Makati City for almost 20 years. His wife, Elenita, was the local chief executive when term limits forced Binay to sit out for three years.

The House of Representatives is expected to discuss the passage of the anti-dynasty provision's enabling law on Wednesday. -NB, GMA News
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