MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – While everyone was focused on the Manila visit of UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and the Court of Appeals acquittal of Janet Napoles of the serious illegal detention charge, the Supreme Court handed down a historic decision extending the 6-year term of President Rodrigo Duterte by one year.
Duterte, who was elected president exactly a year ago today will finish his term in 2022 in accordance with the Philippine Constitution.
But the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that Duterte’s term does not officially start until his Cabinet is complete.
The Commission on Appointments (CA) has been dilly dallying on the confirmation of several key Cabinet appointees, including Rafael Mariano of Agrarian Reform, Paulyn Ubial of Health and Judy Taguiwalo of Social Welfare and Development.
The CA has been bypassing their appointment confirmations.
It was only recently that the CA finally rejected the appointment of DENR Secretary Gina Lopez. One other Cabinet nominee, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. was rejected because of issues regarding his citizenship.
In its decision, penned by no less than Aquino-appointed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the Supreme Court said that it is extending Duterte’s term until 2023 and has not ruled out another extension if the CA fails to confirm the president’s Cabinet appointees by June 30 of this year.
Malacañang was elated over the SC ruling, saying this gives the president an extra year to fully accomplish his campaign against illegal drugs and government corruption.