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House falls back on plan to take out Robredo from line of succession

Facing a deluge of criticisms, the House of Representatives on Wednesday backpedaled on its proposal removing Vice President Leni Robredo as President Rodrigo Duterte’s constitutional successor during the transition to the proposed federal form of government.

Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar, Robredo’s party mate in the Liberal Party, moved to “recommit” the Resolution of Both Houses No. 15 to the House committee on constitutional amendments.

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He said there was a need to “introduce perfecting amendments to the failure to include the Vice President in the first line of succession which led to some misunderstanding.”

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. did not oppose Del Mar’s move, saying the administration lawmakers would also present its own revisions to the proposal to amend the 1987 Constitution.

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“On the part of the majority, at the proper time, we will submit an amendment to the committee as requested by … Del Mar,” Andaya said.

‘Uncertainty’

The proponent, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, had argued that the transitory provision was meant to address the “uncertainty” about the vice presidency created by the electoral protest of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Robredo’s victory.

In Bacolod City, Robredo described the House proposal as desperate.

“They did not succeed in the elections, so they are trying to do it through other means. We know that the Filipino people will not allow this,” Robredo said at the 5th Negros Occidental Small Fishers Alliance Congress.

Amusing argument

Robredo said she found the argument of Veloso, chair of the House committee on constitutional amendments, amusing.

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She reminded Veloso that she won over Marcos by more than 200,000 votes, and that his electoral protest against her “won’t prosper.”

The Vice President also pointed out that Veloso, who won by less than a 100 votes over his opponent, was also facing an election protest.

“Does this mean he should not sit as congressman and carry out his mandate because there is a protest?” she said.

Robredo said she was happy that senators, including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and congressmen had spoken out against the proposal.

Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe said taking out the Vice President as President Duterte’s successor during the transition period to a federal form of government further politicized the proposed new charter.

Batocabe said it was just logical for a sitting Vice President to replace a President as spelled out in the 1987 Constitution and the previous Charters.

“If we are going to amend the Constitution, it should not be tainted with politics because the Constitution should stand the test of time regardless of political affiliation, partisanship and ideologies,” Batocabe told the Inquirer.

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TAGS: Charter change, draft federal Charter, federalism, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House of Representatives, Leni Robredo, line of succession, Raul del Mar, Rolando Andaya Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Vicente Veloso
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