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Aquino term extension or not, 2016 elections to push through

The 2016 national elections will push through as scheduled even as President Aquino remains undecided on the issue of term extension or endorsing a successor, Malacañang announced on Friday.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda dispelled a no-election scenario despite the intense debate on political issues, including a proposed second term for the President.

“The President neither decided on term extension or endorsing a candidate. In both instances, 2016 elections will push through,” Lacieda said in a text message to reporters.

Lacierda corrected his earlier statement that indicated the 2016 presidential elections may not be held as scheduled. The Palace official was trying to downplay the endorsement of Vice President Jejomar Binay by the President’s uncles when he mentioned the conduct of the elections.

“Let’s wait for the endorsement of the President kung sino ang kanyang hahayagin bilang kanyang kandidato sa 2016 kung sakaling tutuloy ang 2016 elections [Let’s wait for the endorsement of the President on who his candidate will be in 2016, in case the 2016 elections will push through],” Lacierda said in a media interview at the Palace on Friday afternoon.

Lacierda recognized that the endorsement of Binay by some Aquino elders was just part of “a healthy vibrancy in Philippine democracy.” “Everybody has his own opinion on who their preferences are for 2016,” he added.

Asked if the President will consult his family and relatives on his possible successor, Lacierda pointed out that the Liberal Party has its own process of selection of an administration standard bearer during elections. He said it was wait for such selection process to take place.

“Malaking bagay ang magiging endorsement ni Pangulong Aquino [The President’s endorsement is a big deal],” Lacierda said.

President Aquino, currently the chairman of the Liberal Party, earlier criticized politicians engaged in premature campaigning, saying they should instead help address the country’s present problems.

Recently, the President created a ruckus when he declared he was in favor of amending the Constitution mainly to fine-tune the alleged excessive powers of the Supreme Court. Aquino likewise claimed he was ready to listen to the people’s voices on the issue of term extension but would not automatically go for it.

Many opposition forces have opposed Aquino’s views on Charter change and term extension, warning he was going against the legacy of his parents.