BACOLOD - Vice President Leni Robredo dubbed a draft charter that removes her position from the presidential line of succession as seemingly "desperate."
"Parang masyado namang desperado. Lahat na lang iniisip kung paano ako matanggal," she told reporters at the gathering of a fisherfolk association here.
(It seems that it's getting too desperate. Everyone is thinking of how I can be removed from office.)
Under the charter proposed by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other congressmen, the Senate President, not the Vice President, will be President Rodrigo Duterte's number 2 in case he is incapacitated during the transition to federalism.
This aims to prevent "instability" that comes with the poll protest before the Supreme Court, which contests Robredo's victory in the 2016 vice presidential race, said Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, one of the proponents.
Robredo is facing a poll protest from rival Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who lost to Robredo by about 260,000 votes.
"May kaso sa Supreme Court, siguro alam nila na hindi magpo-prosper. Dati may impeachment na finile, ngayon na naman eto, ipapalusot sa konstitusyon," she added.
(There is a case at the Supreme Court, maybe they know that it will not prosper. There was an impeachment case filed against me that did not prosper. Now, they want me removed through the constitution.)
Robredo lambasted Veloso for citing this in the proposal to kick her out of the line of succession.
"Siya, yung lamang niya sa election, less than 100 [votes]. Meron ding protest laban sa kanya," she said.
"Gusto bang sabihin, dapat sana, dahil hindi pa tapos yung protest case, huwag muna siyang umupo bilang congressman at hindi niya muna puwedeng gawin yung mandato niya?"
(His lead in the elections was less than 100 votes. There is also a protest against him. Does this mean that because the protest case is still pending, he shouldn't serve as congressman and fulfill his mandate?)
The House's draft charter has been endorsed to the chamber's plenary. It is separate from the draft federal charter of Duterte's consultative committee.
The shift to a federal government is a centerpiece measure being advocated by the Duterte government. The President earlier endorsed the consultative committee's draft charter to Congress.
Last week, Robredo hit Duterte after the chief executive belittled anew her capabilities as a public official.
Robredo said said there was no justifiable reason for the President to underestimate her by saying that she was “weak” as a leader.