House to re­store VP in line of suc­ces­sion in draft char­ter

Business World - - The Nation - By Char­maine A. Tadalan Re­porter

THE HOUSE of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Wed­nes­day recom­mit­ted the res­o­lu­tion, car­ry­ing its ver­sion of a draft Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion, to rein­clude the Vice-Pres­i­dent in the pres­i­den­tial line of suc­ces­sion, a move backed by Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-Ar­royo.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Raul V. del Mar of the 1st district of Cebu moved to recom­mit the Res­o­lu­tion of Both Houses (RBH) 15, which pro­vided that in tran­si­tion­ing to a fed­eral sys­tem, the Se­nate Pres­i­dent shall suc­ceed the Pres­i­dent in the event of a va­cancy.

Mr. del Mar on Thurs­day dis­closed he made the mo­tion as he had dis­cussed with the Speaker. “I was in the Of­fice of the Speaker to dis­cuss CA (Com­mis­sion on Ap­point­ments) mat­ters… af­ter we have al­ready fin­ished that, the is­sue came up. And so, both of us shared the sen­ti­ment that it needs to be cor­rected,” Mr. del Mar told re­porters in a press brief­ing.

“I will in­tro­duce the amend­ment in that pro­vi­sion to put back the vice-pres­i­dent as the first line suc­ces­sor. Now, she not only read­ily agreed. She said, we can’t wait!”

Mr. del Mar also said, “There was no power grab, much less any par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Speaker. In fact, her par­tic­i­pa­tion was af­ter the er­ror was brought to floor, it was a power cor­rec­tion in­stead of a power grab.”

Leyte 3rd District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Vi­cente S.E. Veloso, chair­per­son of the House Com­mit­tee on Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ments, had ear­lier ex­plained the omis­sion of the vi­cepres­i­dent was made in the light of the on­go­ing elec­toral con­test be­tween Vice-Pres­i­dent Maria Leonor G. Ro­bredo and for­mer sen­a­tor Fer­di­nand R. Mar­cos, Jr.

“We wouldn’t know who the Vice-Pres­i­dent would be then. Would it be Ro­bredo, would it be Bong­bong Mar­cos? But look at the un­cer­tainty, I’ve been ju­rist for (a) long time and there is no cer­tainty when it comes to fi­nal­ity of de­ci­sion,” Mr. Veloso said in a press brief­ing on Tues­day.

Also sub­ject to con­tro­versy in the draft Char­ter is the ab­sence of term lim­its and of any pro­vi­sion ban­ning po­lit­i­cal dy­nas­ties.

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