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PNoy rules out second term even if Charter allows it

Bali — After the Philippines was described as the region’s “rising star” by industry leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, President Benigno Aquino III expressed confidence the reforms he had instituted would be continued by his successor after he steps down in 2016. After the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit forum on inclusive growth, where he and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala gave the keynote speeches, Aquino was asked if he was open to running for a second term if it could become constitutional. “Probably not,” said the President who has repeatedly said he is looking forward to the end of his six-year term in his previous speeches. “There are decisions that need to be made that are not politically palatable but are politically correct,” Aquino said. “You are not afraid to make unpopular decisions if you are not worried of the next elections, otherwise there is the temptation to try and please the people all the time even if the decisions are not correct.” The President said it was only a matter of making citizens appreciate his administration’s reform measures to ensure that, in the next elections, the voters would demand the same platform from the presidential candidates. “If our people will be used to this kind of governance, whoever will be perceived as the one who will continue our reforms will get elected,” Aquino said. He underscored the importance of inclusive growth in ensuring political stability and economic sustainability in his keynote speech. He cited the Philippine experience where a substantial amount of the national budget had been used to finance social services in education, health and poverty alleviation. He also bannered his administration’s dole to four million poor families, the Reproductive Health Law, and the Sin Tax Reform Act increasing the taxes on tobacco and alcohol to boost health services. “These are direct government interventions that we are pursuing as a proactive way of encouraging the equitable distribution of wealth—part of a concerted plan to ensure that all sectors take part in economic growth and partake in the prosperity it brings,” Aquino said.  
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