MANILA (Mabuhay) – After teasing last August he may opt to stay in office beyond 2016, President Benigno Aquino III is now insisting he will no longer seek a second term.
In an interview with reporters in Singapore where he is on a two-day working visit, Aquino said he wants to move away from the so-called politics of personalities to issues instead.
He also said he does not want a repeat of what happened to the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, who stayed in power for nearly 20 years.
When asked what he plans to do when his term ends – and there is a one-year ban on taking any government post – he said he will use the time to “recharge.”
Aquino also said he is inclined not to subscribe to newspapers or watch television, jokingly adding that he has had his fill of “energetic media” covering him.
He also recalled his late mother Cory, who stepped down from office in 1992 but continued to reach out and help people through her own way – microfinancing.
Aquino’s announcement reiterated his stand last October when he shut down the possibility of seeking a second term.
“I don’t think that’s a right solution. We all have a time card in this world,” Aquino said on October 28.
Last August, Aquino said in a television interview he was keeping his options open on calls to extend his stay in power despite the Constitution’s limiting him to a single six-year term.
Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino will consult local leaders and private sector representatives on whether he should extend his term.
But opposition senators reminded Aquino of his mother Cory’s legacy, where she resisted calls to stay after 1992.
Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that: “The President shall not be eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.” (MNS)