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Aquino testing waters on term extension

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President Benigno Aquino III has finally broken his silence on the issue of term extension but his position is reportedly meant only to test the waters.

In an exclusive interview with TV-5, President Aquino did not completely dismiss the possibility of staying in power beyond 2016.

He said he would still listen to what the majority of the people will say.

“Nung pinasukan ko ito, ang tanda ko one term of six years…Ngayon, after having said that, syempre ang mga boss ko, kelangan kong pakinggan ‘yon,” he said.

A Palace source said the President was just testing the waters when he thought aloud about his stand on the clamor for him to run for a second term.

The same source said the President was acting on the results of an internal survey commissioned by Malacanang which showed strong, broad-based support for a term extension.

Before last night, President Aquino has repeatedly rejected proposals to change provisions in the 1987 Constitution, which was crafted under the term of his own mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

But the issue on term extension has become a hot topic recently after Aquino’s former running-mate Manuel Roxas II floated the idea citing supposed public clamor on social networking sites.

The proposal earned different opinions from the party-mates of President Aquino in the ruling Liberal Party.

A group led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II expressed fear that the extension would only hamper their efforts to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.

Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice, on the other hand, has said that he would file a resolution seeking to extend the term limit for the President.

Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone, an LP stalwart, welcomed the position of the President.

“I definitely welcome President Aquino’s statement that he is now open to cha-cha. If you recall, I filed a resolution in the 15th Congress to precisely amend several economic, political and constitutional provisions to enable our country to pursue meaningful and lasting fundamental reforms,” he said.

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