President Rodrigo Duterte, like the Senators, is cool on a proposal by House Speaker Alvarez to postpone the 2019 mid-term election.

The President is keeping his hands off in the proposed “no election” scenario in 2019, Malacañang assured Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark to allay fears that the proposed shift to a federal system of government will allow Duterte’s term extension.

roque alvarez

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier raised the possibility of a “no-el” scenario, noting that it would be “practical” to give way to the shift to federalism.

Ang exact (na) salita ni Presidente, ‘I will not have any hand in that.’ At ito po ay matapos kong tanungin na may posibleng ‘no-el’ (The exact words of the President are ‘I will not have any hand in that.’ And this was after he was asked of a possible No-El scenario),” Roque said in an interview over dzRH.

Roque said that Duterte wanted his allies in Congress to know that he did not want to postpone the 2019 midterm elections.

Ang mensahe po sa lahat ng kaalyado ni Presidente sa Kamara at sa Mataas na Kapulungan, talagang ayaw po ni Presidente na — at ipagpaliban ang eleksiyon para lamang sa Charter Change (The President’s message to all his allies in the Congress and Senate is that he really does not want to postpone elections for Charter Change),” he added.

Last week, Roque said that the only possibility the polls would not push through next year is if the proposed new Constitution is ratified ahead of it.

“Like what we have been saying, the President is implementer of the Constitution. Unless the date of election, as stated in the Constitution, has been not changed, the President will implement (it) — the 2019 elections will push through,” Roque said.

“In which case, the ’87 Constitution would cease to have legal effect. But while there is still no new Charter, the President will make sure that there will be an election,” he added.

Upon the President’s request, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to draft the federal constitution has modified the proposed transitory provisions to facilitate the election of a transitory president and vice president, who will take over the government right after a new federal Constitution is ratified.

Duterte has approved the draft federal Constitution in toto except for the transitory provisions.

This means that Duterte will have to step down once the new Constitution is ratified by the people and a transition leader is elected in 2019. (with PNA)

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