Friday 14 December, 2018
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Who’s wrong? Reporter saddened by Ranhilio Aquino’s allegation

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Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda University College of Law and member of the President’s Consultative Committee (ConCom) on the federal charter, has blamed the media for allegedly drawing the conclusion that the new constitution will allow the President to run for office again.

In a post clarifying that the proposed constitution does not allow the two top government leaders to seek reelection, Aquino also defended fellow member Julio Teehankee who was quoted in news reports that such outcome is possible.

“Dean July was correct in saying it was a reboot of government, but the journalists then drew the conclusion that that meant that the incumbents could another go at it,” he said.

But journalist Janvic Mateo from the Philippine Star reacted to the way Aquino pointed his fingers at their flock.

“It’s disheartening to see Fr. @RanhilioAquino saying that the journalists drew the conclusion on the interview of Dean Teehankee. He was asked multiple times if Duterte can run again. He said yes. It was reported as is, no drawing of conclusions there,” he tweeted.

My reading of the draft Constitution is that it DOES NOT ALLOW the present President and the Vice-President to run again. They were allowed to run under a Constitution that gave them six years of a non-renewable term. The draft Constitution prescribes that their terms shall end on June 30, 2022, AND SHALL NOT BE EXTENDED. This makes clear that the fact that there is a governmental “reboot” does not necessarily allow them a fresh term each, otherwise, the phrase “and shall not be extended” would not have meaning, especially if disguised as a new term under a new Constitution.

Reports previously quoted Teehankee as saying that Duterte and Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo were allowed to seek reelection under the proposed new charter.

“Dean Teehankee later said he misspoke, essentially admitting that he answered in the affirmative. So why bring make it seem like it was the fault of the journos who asked a valid question?” Mateo added.

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