Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gordon wants to abolish term limits for local officials

Bagumbayan presidential candidate Richard Gordon intends to scrap term limits for local government officials, through Constitution amendment, in case he’s elected in the May elections.

"Gusto ko longer terms for local officials... sapagkat ang nangyayari pagka two years eh kampanya na ng kampanya. At pagka may limit, pinapalit yung kapatid, anak, asawa. Kalokohan lang ‘yan," he said in the GMA News’ election show “Kandidato

(I want longer terms for local officials… because if it’s only two years, there will be almost constant campaigning. And if term limits are imposed, a sibling, child or spouse merely takes [the outgoing official’s place]. That’s foolishness.)

Under the 1987 Constitution, local elective officials like mayors and governors and Lower House representatives are only allowed to serve three successive three-year terms.
During the interview, Gordon said that if he is elected president, he would push for a change in this constitutional provision. His proposal is for local elective officials to serve six years during their first term, then be allowed to run for unlimited four-year terms thereafter.

He did not elaborate on how to handle problems of synchronizing elections that this scheme would entail.

The Bagumbayan standard bearer, who served as mayor of Olongapo City for 13 years before becoming senator, also said a person or family should not be banned from dominating local politics over a certain area as long as they do not intimidate the people or impose on the electorate.

He added that children of politicians often also grow up to become public servants, since it is human nature for a child to follow the footsteps of his parents. “Basta bumoto ang tao, bakit ko naman ipagkakait (If people vote [that way], why should I prevent them)?" he said.

Gordon comes from a prominent family of Olongapo politicians that has produced five of the city's mayors—his father James Leonard T. Gordon, his mother Amelia, himself, his wife Katherine, and his brother James Jr.

JC de los Reyes, himself an Olongapo councilor and presidential candidate of Ang Kapatiran party, is Gordon's nephew.—Aie Balagtas See/JV, GMANews.TV

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