Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo spoke against a proposal to remove presidential term limits in the Philippines.
According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, the bishop’s words come after Vice President Jejomar Binay suggested ending the six-year term limits for presidents. Bishop Pabillo said that the idea would allow a chief executive to remain in power for an indefinite period of time, leading to abuse of power.
“There must be a limit of terms. Otherwise, it will just be used by the one in power to stay on and hold on to the position,” he said.
The country’s Constitution currently bars any president from seeking re-election while the Vice President serve two successive terms of six years. All other elected local officials can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Following backlash, Vice President Binay’s office clarified that he was in favor of lifting term limits only for local officials, while adopting a 4 year term with re-election for president.
However, despite the clarification, Bishop Pabillo said that the proposal would be worse, given that the president would only divide the head of state’s attention.
“What would happen if there is a re-election, the official will just work for one or two years then he will start preparing for his re-election,” he said.
“Six years,” Bishop Pabillo concluded, is already enough if the president is really serious in the changes he wants to implement. If he is a good president, he can do many things in six years.” (J.A.E.)