Press Secretary Jesus Dureza branded as totally baseless, the charges from the opposition, that a shift from presidential to a federal system of government through an amendment of the Constitution would open the way for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to extend her term beyond 2010.
In an interview, Dureza stressed that Malacanang is supporting Senate Joint Resolution No. 10 because it jibes with the administration’s and the Filipino people’s aspirations for a lasting peace in Mindanao.
The Senate resolution calls for the convening of “Congress into a constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to establish a Federal System of government.”
Backed by 16 senators, among them are Senate President Manuel Villar and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr; Dureza pointed out that it is very clear, that there is nothing in the resolution that cites any extension of the President Arroyo’s term limit.
He also made clear that on various occasions in the past, the President reiterated that she would step down when her term ends in 2010.
“The problem is that at times we are very negative, that even the reforms of government were delayed because of too much criticism”, he stressed.
Dureza, who hails from Mindanao, said that the administration’s support for the Senate resolution would, hopefully, hasten the government’s earlier plan to grant the Muslims their own autonomous area, for starters. (PIA/Bohol)