OPINION: The House lied about restoring VP Robredo as Duterte’s successor in approved draft federal charter

Raïssa Robles

Posted at Dec 19 2018 01:13 AM | Updated as of Dec 19 2018 01:17 AM

EXCLUSIVE

The House of Representatives lied when its officials said they had restored Vice President Leni Robredo as President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor during the transition to federalism.

They made it appear and they said so publicly that they had done that.

But in reality, the approved version they passed on Third Reading as Resolution of Both Houses No. 15 said no such thing.

In fact, the House version approved on Third Reading breeds MUCH UNCERTAINTY about what would happen during the transition period.

The old House version had totally excluded Robredo by stating 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 newly-approved version that the House of Representatives passed on Third Reading December 11 last week goes this way:

“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.”

Below is a screen-cap of part of the approved RBH No. 15 on page 72 showing this:

So what’s wrong with that, you might ask. Isn’t that restoring Robredo to the line of succession?

“NO.”

Because under the 1987 Constitution, the Vice President does not just act as President if anything happens to the President. The VP becomes THE President.

Section 8 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states:

In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-President, the President of the Senate or in case of his disability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall then act as President until the President or Vice-president shall have been elected and qualified.

The use, therefore, of the phrase “act as President” in the case of the VP denotes that under the approved House federal charter, Robredo, the duly elected Vice-President, will only occupy the presidency for a temporary period should anything happen to Duterte during the transition.

How temporary, the section on Transitory Provisions does not say. It merely says “the incumbent Vice President shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified.”

Chosen by whom?

It doesn’t say.

Qualified by whom?
 
It doesn’t say.

When?

It doesn’t say

This is malicious mischief being foisted on the Filipino people by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all the congressmen who voted “YES” to this proposed federal charter.

A poisonous Christmas gift to the entire nation.

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