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Kristine Angeli Sabillo
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Asia

Jesuit priest tells Aquino to retire, give others a chance

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN | Kristine Angeli Sabillo | Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Sit back, relax and give other people a chance. That’s a message for President Aquino from Jesuit priest Joaquin Bernas (inset), a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission.

MANILA -Sit back, relax and give other people a chance.

That's a message for President Aquino from Jesuit priest Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission.

"I'll say, 'Rest, there are other good people,'" Bernas, an Inquirer columnist, said in an interview on ANC on Tuesday.

Bernas was answering questions about moves by administration allies to amend the Constitution to lift the presidential term limit and enable President Aquino to run for a second term.

He made it clear that he disapproved of changing the presidential term limit and advised Aquino to retire after serving his six-year term.

"Give (Sen.) Miriam (Santiago) a chance," Bernas said in jest.

Cancer-stricken Santiago was titillated.

On Wednesday, she issued a statement declaring that she would run for President in 2016 if she got enough support from the electorate.

Saying the tumour in her lung was shrinking, Santiago vowed to "rise to the occasion" if there were enough "like-minded supporters like Fr. Joaquin Bernas."

"I'm not going to be coy. Society leaders have urged me to seek the presidency. I can rise to the occasion, although I [am] following the other signposts on the road to recovery," Santiago said.

If she decides to run, she will go toe-to-toe, as well as peso-for-peso, with Vice President Jejomar Binay, the clear front-runner in early opinion polls on the 2016 presidential election.

'President Mar'

Besides Binay, there's also the ruling Liberal Party's presumptive standard-bearer, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who is unpopular with the electorate, as shown by the polls, but to whom presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda referred to as "President Mar" on Wednesday.

Lacierda, presiding over a briefing for reporters in Malacañang, corrected his error, his second in less than a week.

"I was there when President Mar-oh, sorry-well, Secretary Mar Roxas, when Secretary Mar Roxas said it," Lacierda said, referring to Roxas' consultation with party members on the antidynasty bill.

It appeared that Lacierda, who said at the start of the briefing that he was not feeling well, had his titles mixed up.

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