MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino’s 6-year term of office ends at noon on June 30th when the new president elected in the May 9 elections takes his or her oath of office.
Aquino, who is barred by the Constitution from seeking another term, has enjoyed living in Malacañang Palace and does not want to leave. At best, he could extend his term through some technicality, which is exactly what he is doing in connivance with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
The COMELEC is thinking about moving the May 9 polls to the first week of June or later, following a decision by the Supreme Court ordering the poll body to issue voting receipts as a way of making the election process transparent. The COMELEC said the decision will require reconfiguring more than 92,500 SD memory cards, bidding out the procurement of thermal paper and receipt receptacles and retraining election inspectors.
The poll body said that between the vote counting and the certification process for the winning candidates, the new president may not be able to be inaugurated in time for June 30th as stated in the Constitution. The certification process will be further delayed if any of the losing candidates would file a protest or petition for a vote re-count.
The COMELEC said that July 30 would be a more reasonable date for the new president’s inauguration, which means Aquino will remain president for an extra 30 days, to which he is not complaining.
If this happens, Aquino will go down in history as the only president with an extended term, other than Ferdinand E. Marcos who declared Martial Law and ended up being president for 20 years.