By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday blasted the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino Laban (PDP-Laban) for attempting to delay the mandated national and local elections on May 9, 2022, by filing a petition to reopen the submission of Certificate of Candidacy (COC).
In a statement, Lacson said that the move by the PDP entails the notion of paving the way for the extension of the term of office of President Duterte beyond the Constitutionally mandated period.
“I would not like to think that the intention of the petition to reopen the filing of the COCs filed by the PDP-Laban is to delay the election on May 9, 2022 — and pave the way for the extension of the term of office of the President beyond June 30, 2022. This is something the 1987 Constitution clearly forbids,” Lacson said.
Lacson said: “As I have suggested earlier to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and some of my colleagues, the Senate must not allow this to happen.”
“We can preserve the presidential line of succession as provided under Art. VII Sec. 7 of the 1987 Constitution. How?” he said.
The presidential aspirant said that Senate President Vicente Sotto and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco are both stepping down along with Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo on June 30.
“If such a scenario becomes imminent before Congress adjourns, we will elect a new Senate President whose term expires on June 30, 2025. He/she shall act as President until a new President or Vice President shall have been chosen and qualified,” Lacson explains.
He said that most of my colleagues have already agreed to this proposal since democracy and the fundamental law of the land could be at risk.
“Let me clarify and emphasize that I am not accusing the administration of any malevolent attempt in this possible scenario. What I’m only saying is that the Senate will always be the bulwark of our democracy, and I take pride in playing a major role in it,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)