MANILA - Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said Monday he is open to suggestions of banning President Rodrigo Duterte from seeking reelection under the proposed federal constitution.
But Pimentel, who is also president of Duterte's political party PDP-Laban, said all presidents elected under the 1987 Constitution should be banned from running again.
"Para sabihin din natin na di lang sa kanya yan nakafocus to disqualify him, gawin natin the incumbent president as well as all persons who held the position of president under the 1987 Constitution shall be ineligible to run for president under the new constitution," the former Senate President said.
Duterte's consultative committee on charter changed has already finished a draft of a federal constitution. The actual text of the draft has yet to be released but some personalities claimed they have seen parts of the document.
One of them is lawyer Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, who said the draft charter proposed by the panel does not explicitly bar Duterte and other incumbent officials from seeking reelection.
"Is federalism a Trojan horse to stay in power?" he asked in a forum on democracy and governance last week.
Duterte last Friday promised again that he will not seek an extension of his term after the country shifts to federalism, and even asked the consultative committee he created to put a provision that would prohibit him from running again.
The President is expected to endorse the draft federal charter from the consultative committee to Congress.