RECOMMITTED | VP to be returned as successor in House draft charter

4 months ago

(OCTOBER 11, 2018) – Days after excluding the vice president in the executive line of succession, the House of Representatives backpedaled and is set to retain the position in the draft charter proposed by a House committee.

During the House’s plenary session on Wednesday, Cebu Rep. Raul del Mar provided a motion to replace the word “Senate” with “Vice” in Article XVII Section 4 of Resolution of Both Houses No. 15, which previously mandated the Senate President as the next in line should the President becomes incapable of performing duties under a transition goverment.

With no objections, presiding chair Linabelle Villarica then moved to recommit the measure back to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

After de Mar’s motion, the said provision was adjusted as follows: “In case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent [Vice] President shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified.”

(READ ALSO: IN TRANSITORY PERIOD | No VP in executive line of succession)

Leyte Rep. Ching Veloso, chairman of the proposing committee, said the controversial change was done to avoid confusion once the Supreme Court decides on the on-going electoral protest by former senator Bongbong Marcos against incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo’s camp meanwhile saw this as “blatant power grabbing” from the part of the lawmakers, since they believe there’s no reason to skip the vice president in the line of succession.

“Principal trabaho ng VP sa ilalim ng Constitution ay successor. Kung tatanggalin mo sa kanya ‘yon at ililipat sa Senate President, parang sinabi mo na rin na in-abolish mo na rin ‘yung opisina ng pagka-bise pesidente. Walang malinaw na nilagay, walang sense,” told Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez in an earlier interview.

House Speaker Gloria Arroyo meanwhile denied pushing the controversial exclusion of the vice president in the line of succession, amid criticisms that she would ultimately benefit from the provision once the Senate President is deemed incapable or steps down as acting president.

Some senators have also dismissed the House’s draft, saying the upper chamber has no time to tackle it.

(READ ALSO: TIME CONSTRAINTS | Senate says it has no time for Cha-Cha)