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No OVP in draft federal Charter but Leni may finish term — House panel

/ 02:10 PM January 16, 2018
Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo. AP FILE PHOTO

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) will be abolished under a federal government, according to a House subcommittee’s proposed amendments to the charter.

During the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments hearing on Tuesday, committee chairman Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado laid out the salient features on the proposed draft that would replace the 1987 Constitution.

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In the proposal of “House subcommittee one,” the vice president would no longer have a place under the Federal Republic of the Philippines.

But under the transitory provisions, it said that the “Vice President shall continue until 2022 to exercise her powers and prerogatives as VP under the 1987 Constitution.”

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Over the weekend, Bayan Muna Chair and former House lawmaker Neri Colmenares warned that PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan)’s constitution, the OVP will be abolished as early as 2019 if they succeed in having the new Constitution ratified during the 2019 elections.

“While PDP-Laban may argue that they will not apply this to Vice President Robredo, this is not expressed in PDP-Laban Constitution since they have refused to divulge their transitory provision,” he added.

Citing the Article 7, Section 7 of the PDP-Laban’s draft federal charter, Colmenares pointed out that the President, in case he would not be able to perform his functions, only the Senate President or the Speaker of Federal Assembly would take over the highest position in the land, rendering Robredo a “lame-duck” vice president.

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s legal adviser, hit the current proposals to revise the 1987 Constitution.

“The Office of the Vice President has been a feature of our republic for over 80 years, ever since it was created under the 1935 Constitution. The only time since then that we have had no VP was during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos,” Gutierrez said.

“That said, the current proposals to revise the Constitution are supposedly anchored on a drive to promote and institute a federal system of government. The question therefore is, how does abolishing the OVP relate to the establishment of Federalism? Or is the abolition already in service of some other, unstated, agenda?” he said. /je

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TAGS: charter, constitutional amendments, federalism, House panel, Leni Robredo, Office of the Vice President, OVP
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