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Philippine leader says may revise constitution and seek second term

Published on Aug 14, 2014 11:59 AM
 
Philippine President Benigno Aquino (centre) delivers his 5th annual State of the Nation address (SONA) before the annual joint session of 16th Congress in Manila on July 28, 2014 as Senate President Franklin Drilon (left) and House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte (right) look on. Philippine President Benigno Aquino has said he may try to change the constitution and serve a second term in office, a stunning announcement in a nation haunted by dictatorship. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino has said he may try to change the constitution and serve a second term in office, a stunning announcement in a nation haunted by dictatorship.

The constitution restricts presidents to serving a single term of six years, an arrangement designed to stop a repeat of dictator Ferdinand Marcos' two-decade reign that ended in a 1986 "people power" uprising.

For many years, Aquino insisted he was against constitutional change and that he would step aside when his term ended in 2016, but in a television interview aired on Wednesday night, he indicated he was reconsidering. "When I first got into this, I noted I had only one term of six years. Now, after having said that, of course I have to listen to the voice of my bosses," he said on the ABC-5 network. Aquino, 54, frequently calls Filipinos his "bosses".

He said he was considering the highly controversial move because he wants to ensure his political reforms do not end with the conclusion of his first term in office.

 
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