By Mario Casayuran
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III wants to rewrite the 1987 Constitution where all elective local and national officials, including the President, can have a first four-year term and elected for another four years.
He wants this to be included as a chapter in the proposal to amend the 32-year-old Charter as a mode to adopt a federal form of government.
But he does not want to amend the Constitution as suggested by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto who said Mayor Isko Moreno’s cleaning of the Manila’s streets is a glowing ‘Exhibit A’’ of the reality that many of the country’s problems could be solved without having to rewrite the Constitution.
‘’I, however, recognize the right and welcome the move of proponents of constitutional amendments to bring their proposals for debate in a manner that is exhaustive, not expedient, thorough, not truncated,’’ Recto said.
According to his draft, Pimentel said that local and national elective officials should be elected for the first four years and another four years only.
Under the current Constitution, the Philippine President is elected for a one-time, six-year term while senators serve for six years and for another consecutive six years. After their consecutive 12-year term, senators can rest for three years before running for the Senate again.
For congressmen, governors and mayors, they are allowed to serve for a total of nine years, elected every three years.
Under a four-year term limit, the Philippine President will do his best in his first four years and this will serve as a referendum to merit a second four-year term, Pimentel said.
The consecutive term of Philippine Presidents was practiced before the 1987 Constitution was adopted.
At the US Senate, a lawmaker can be elected and serve his constituents for as long as he is physically capable.
Pimentel said he favors the eight-year term concept because it infuses new blood in Philippine politics.
This environment would be enhanced if Congress passes and Malacanang enacts into law the anti-political dynasty bill, he explained.
Even with the Senate in the 17th Congress killing the Charter Change move, Pimentel said his Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban would refile it in a ‘’best effort’’ mode, he added.