AFPMANILA (AFP-Jiji) — The draft of a new Philippine constitution submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday would grant him new powers and a chance to extend his stay in office by up to eight years.
Under the current law Duterte will have to step down in 2022, when his six-year term is up. But the proposed shift to a federal system laid out in the draft would allow him to run for two additional terms of four years each.
“The adoption of a new constitution ... effectively results in a fresh start for all,” said a statement from the committee that crafted the draft on the president’s orders.
The draft constitution has several obstacles to clear before it can become law, including a congressional debate and a public referendum.
The latest polls — surveying around 1,200 people — show only 37 percent of Filipinos back changing the constitution while 29 percent are against it.
According to the draft the country would be divided under a federal system into 18 regions that would have a greater degree of control over their own affairs.