MANILA -- Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said that recent statements released by the two leaders of the Congress --Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez -- floating a possible no elections and term extension scenario would not help their advocacy to shift to a federal form of government.

Lacson made this remark after both Pimentel and Alvarez on Wednesday raised the possibility of a term extension for President Rodrigo Duterte and no elections if federalism should push through.

He said that opposition lawmakers do not even need to “invent the best antidote to Charter change.”

“No less than the two leaders of both houses of Congress have started campaigning against it, albeit subliminally,” Lacson said referring to Pimentel and Alvarez.

“Floating a no-el and term extension scenario, as recent history would suggest, won’t help their advocacy to shift to a federal form of government, inevitably via an amendment of the Constitution,” he added.

Pimentel earlier said that it is possible to extend the six-year term of Duterte should the government’s shift to federalism pushes through.

In a text message to reporters, Pimentel said that Duterte’s term extension will depend on “transitory provisions” and when the new constitution is approved.

“Depends on the transitory provisions. And depends too on when we approve the new consti(tution). If 2019 then the next three years will be the transitory period,” Pimentel said.

He gave three reasons a term extension could take place -- if it was necessary if Duterte would be willing, and since it would be part of the new constitution.

“We can extend the president's term 1. If really necessary and 2. If he's amenable to it and 3. Since that extension will be part of the new constitution, the new constitution is approved by the people themselves (sic),” he said. (PNA)