Pampanga 3rd district Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr., the congressman who pitched giving a Philippine president a maximum of two five-year terms, wants to know if the Palace aspirants in May 2022 favor his proposal.
In a statement Friday, March 18, the former deputy speaker urged the presidential candidates to speak up on the matter, and on political Charter change (Cha-cha) in general, as he claimed that there would be no backlash of any kind on the aspirants.
Gonzales said that self-interest or conflict of interest would not be an issue if the presidential bets bare their stand on political Cha-cha “because the two-term proposal, if it were approved as a Charter amendment, will not apply to the candidate who will win in May”.
“It is the six-year term that will apply because the next president will still be elected under the present Constitution, which has not been amended in almost 36 years since 1986,” he stressed.
The Pampanga lawmaker revealed that there is a lot of interest and support for his proposals among his colleagues in the House of Representatives and among governors, mayors and other local officials and their constituents.
“I and House members and local officials supporting my proposals would like to hear the stand of our candidates on these suggested changes in our Charter, particularly the two five-year terms for the president,” said Gonzales, who made the appeal ahead of the March 19 presidential debates organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
He said the proposed two terms would allow a popular chief executive to seek reelection and to implement and pursue his programs over a 10-year period.
“It will provide continuity for a president who is attaining economic progress and development, and peace and a better life for our people,” he said.
On the other hand, an unpopular president could be voted out of office after five years, instead of the nation waiting for another year for his six-year stint to expire, he added.
Gonzales would be covered by such a ban, as he is running for his third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s third district. He has no opponent.
He has vowed to re-file his political Cha-cha resolution on the first day of the incoming 19th Congress, on July 1, 2022, less than two months after the May 9 elections.