VP Robredo slams no-election scenario, term extension

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Vice President Leni Robredo calls the possibility of extending a public official's term "self-serving." (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 7) Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday slammed the possibility of having no elections in 2019 and extending the term of public officials to make way for constitutional amendments.

"Kontrang kontra tayo doon sa no elections. Kasi iyong eleksyon, parang ito iyong pinakabuod ng ating demokrasya. Ito lamang iyong natatanging paraan para iyong ordinaryong Pilipino makilahok sa isang proseso na siya iyong pipili kung sino iyong mamumuno sa kaniya," Robredo said in her radio show BISEbisyong Leni on RMN-dzXL 558.

[Translation: We are completely against no elections. The elections sum up our democracy. This is the way for the ordinary Filipino to take part in giving the mandate to whom he/she will put in power.]

She added that the elections are essential in the country's democratic process.

"Kapag inalis natin sa ordinaryong Pilipino iyong karapatang pumili kung sino iyong magre-represent sa kaniya, nasaan na iyong demokrasya doon?" she added.

[Translation: If we take away the right to vote for his or her representation, where is the democracy in that?]

Robredo also claimed public officials who seek term extension, in line with the constitutional changes, are "self-serving." 

"Kaya kung mayroon namang usapin sa term extension, tingin ko nararapat lamang na kung iyong mga nakaupo ngayon iyong magdedesisyon na magkaroon ng term extension, dapat lahat kami hindi makinabang," she explained.

[Translation: If there are discussions on term extension, I think it's only right that if those seated now will decide, we will not benefit from the decision.]

The Vice President then added the amendments should be brought to the public's attention.

Earlier, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez brought up the likelihood of a no-election scenario, paving way for Congress to address the shift to a federal system this year. The shift to federalism is one of the Duterte administration's key platforms during the 2016 polls.

READ: No election scenario looms amid push for federalism

Changes in the Constitution, according to some senators, may postpone elections for 10 years.