By: Elena Grace Flores Martial law bitterness works in the past with the presumptive VP Leni Robredo’s debates and speeches. They were able to separate the Filipino voters in their stand. Now, another opposition senatorial candidate and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno counters his rival Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos’ stance on term limits. He cites his own situation during Martial Law contrary to the many advantages that the country still enjoys at the present time. Marcos insists that instead of the term limit, electoral reforms are needed to assure the people of clean and honest elections. z
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[VIDEO]: Pabor ka ba o hindi sa pagtanggal ng term limits sa mga mambabatas?
Removal of Term Limits
The two aspiring senators’ debate creates a stir on social media. Comments are more personal depending on which side netizens are on. Marcos and Diokno explain their position on the removal of term limits in the draft federal constitution. The governor said that instead of lessening the dynasty, the surname has become a franchise when the term limits were installed. She said that having term limits gives families an option to pass on their posts from father to “unknowledgeable wives” and “stubborn” children.
Marcos’ Factual Basis
Marcos cites the October 2011 study of Pablo Querubin at Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies in her arguments. She claims that the “Political Reform and Elite Persistence: Term Limits and Political Dynasties in the Philippines” study proves that having term limits is ineffective. Instead of just 67 percent of elected officials with similar family names, it rose to 91 percent. She adds that term limits hinder the plans of elected officials.
Diokno’s Emotional Stand
Diokno’s father, the late Sen. Jose “Pepe” Diokno, was detained during the Martial Law period, opposes this stance of Marcos. He did not mention the name of Imee’s father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, but alludes to him during his rebuttal. He asks if the people already forgot his bitter experience.
Electoral Reforms Needed
Marcos’ alternative measure for the removal of term limits is electoral reforms as per the campaign of Atty. Glenn Chong. She helps in the research for the new Sanggunian Kabataan format that contains the first anti-dynasty provision. Under the said provision, Marcos explains that those with “second degree of civil relations, consanguinity and affinity” would not be allowed to run. Marcos also calls for studies on electoral reform and the real definition of a dynasty.
The House of Representatives approves on third and final reading its version of a federal constitution that scraps the term limits for members of the lower chamber and other local officials. Senators only have two terms while House members have a three-term tenure. Marcos’ idealism supports the advocacies of Atty. Chong and Toti Casino who disclose Smartmatic’s digital fraud that favors Robredo. Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest is still ongoing.