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Dec 05th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. People Want to Directly Elect the President – Senator Pimentel
People Want to Directly Elect the President – Senator Pimentel PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Sunday, 08 June 2008 14:30

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said he is opposed to any move to extend the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo under the federal system contained under Joint Resolution 10 that has the backing of at least 16 senators.

Senator Pimentel expressed fears that the move will only undermine or even spell the death of the federalism proposal because it is obvious that the Filipino people want to elect a new Chief Executive.

He also observed the people are wary that a shift to a parliamentary system will be taken advantage by the ruling party to enable President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to stay in power beyond 2010 – which will circumvent the constitutional ban against the reelection of the incumbent head of government.


Senator Pimentel says that there is empirical basis to the observation that the people want their right to directly elect the highest leader of the government.“I will oppose any attempt by any group to make the federalism proposal secondary to any other proposal to restructure the form of government because it will only tend to create divisions in this country,” he told a forum on federalism at the Ateneo University in Quezon City.

Senator Pimentel said that there is empirical basis to the observation that the people do not want to give up their right to directly elect the highest leader of government.

Mr. Pimentel recalled that when he was working on the Local Government Code, as chairman of the Senate committee on local government during the 8th Congress, he received a lot of hate mail and other negative feedbacks over a provision which called for the election of the chairman of the barangay by the seven members of the barangay council from among themselves after they were directly elected by the village residents.


Editor’s Notes: Please read also the following related articles:


Tony Abaya Is Wrong: PGMA Cannot Stay in Power Beyond June 2010


Why Tony Abaya Doesn’t Know Presidential Politics: End of the Road for PGMA (A Fearless Forecast)

“You can just imagine if you apply that change in the manner of electing leaders to the national level where the head of government or president will no longer be elected at large,” he said.

Senator Pimentel expressed the hope that both the Senate and House of Representatives would approve as early as possible Joint Resolution 10 which calls for the convening of Congress into a Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution and lay the ground for a federal system.

Mr. Pimentel says that even if the proposal is approved by the 14th Congress, it will probably be implemented only after 2010 and is, therefore, will not affect the holding of the 2010 presidential, congressional and local elections.But at this point, Mr. Pimentel said he could not say with certainty the time-frame for the adoption of a parliamentary system.

“I don’t have a definite answer to that because this has to be adopted by both houses of Congress, as well as Malacañang. I don’t know what they have in mind,” the senator from Mindanao said.

“I am hoping we can do it before the end of 2010. But definitely, even if it is approved before 2010, the time-frame will be much later, because we have to put up the infrastructures for implementation of this proposal.” # # #

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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 June 2008 14:34

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"The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts."~~Bertrand Russell