Hontiveros hits Arroyo’s draft charter for excluding VP in line of succession
The draft charter proposed by House Speaker Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo and her allies which excluded the Vice President as the President’s successor during the transition is “absurd and unjustifiable,” Sen. Risa Hontiveros said on Friday.
Hontiveros cited a provision in the 1987 charter that the Vice President is the first in the line of succession of the President.
“In fact, Section 8, Article VII of our 1987 Constitution puts the Vice President first in the line of succession, followed by the Senate President and then the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” she said in a statement.
“Hence, the House committee draft federal charter, which skips over Vice President Leni Robredo as President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor during the transition period to a federalism in the event of incapacity, is not only absurd and unjustifiable, it is also a colossal, shameless affront to long-established, recognized and practiced democratic processes,” she added.
Hontiveros stressed that the provisions in the charter must focus on issues such as political dynasties, private armies and financial sustainability.
“Instead of taking the necessary time to deliberate and fulfill the important and difficult requirements in order for any shift to federalism to become successful, such as breaking up political dynasties, dismantling private armies and building financial sustainability, among others, they busy themselves in trying to break the constitutional line of succession,” she said.
The lawmaker is confident that her fellow senators would not support the draft charter which could “weaponize” the Senate.
“I am confident that the majority of my fellow senators, including Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto, will not support such a brazen move and will see it for what it is: an attempt not just to coopt, but to weaponize, the Senate in aid of their agenda. It must not see the light of day in the Senate,” Hontiveros said.
Article XVII, Section 4 of the draft charter states that “in case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent Senate President shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified.”
The transition period will last from the time the federal charter is implemented until the second Monday of May 2022. /ee
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