Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as well as 21 other people from the House of Representatives, are making a push for a change in the Philippine constitution. They initiate a Charter Change by filing of a resolution that contains the revision. The co-authors include Rolando Andaya Jr. the Majority Leader, Vicente Veloso, Alfredo Benitez, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., and Eugene Michael de Vera among others. In this version, the Senate President will be the direct successor of the President and not the Vice President. The camp of the presumptive VP, Leni Robredo reacts immediately through Atty. Romulo Macalintal. While Bongbong Marcos’ camp is still quiet about it.
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[VIDEO]: Speaker Arroyo pushes Charter Change, draft rejects Robredo as Duterte’s successor
The resolution was already sponsored for a second reading. However, there is a lack of quorum as pointed out by Buhay Representative Lito Atienza. Consequently, they’ve suspended the deliberations. One of the lawmakers involved said that the revision does not target Robredo directly. They just want to stabilize the government for the future circumstance. Arroyo’s leadership on this matter is crucial. She is a former President and a victim of the previous administration.
Temporary Succession in the Constitution Draft
Section 4 indicates the Senate President in the line of succession, as quoted. “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.”
No Office Extension for Du30
Section 2 of the article, however, prohibits both President Du30 and Robredo to run for office extension beyond June 30, 2022. Furthermore, this constitution also bars Du30 to run as President in the 2022 elections. Therefore, his detractors cannot accuse him any more of prolonging his executive powers – just like during Arroyo’s time.
Reaction from Robredo’s Camp
Robredo’s camp questions the removal of the Vice President in the line of succession on the proposed draft. As quoted earlier, Section 4 indicates the Senate President, Tito Sotto in this case, to be next in line. Atty. Macalintal who is running for Senator said that they cannot cite the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos against his client as the basis for such revision. This also means that if it pushes through, Marcos can’t also assume the highest office of the land.
It has always been expressed by the President that should he step down he would prefer the likes of Chiz Escudero or Bongbong Marcos to succeed him. However, with regards to Robredo, he has always shown doubt over her ability to lead the country. Robredo responds to Du30 by saying that he should stop belittling her and just concentrate on work instead.
The Favored Real VP
The revised constitution skipping the Vice President in the line of succession also applies to Marcos should he win his protest. However, there are rumors that the President intends him to be the Prime Minister under Federalism. The allies of the government are surely working hard to prevent the yellows from coming back to power – just like how their opponents cheated to stop Marcos from claiming his post.