The leadership of the House of Representatives has no intention to exclude Vice President Leni Robredo from the line of succession under its proposed Transitory Provisions of the draft federal charter, a legislator said on Thursday.
“I believe there was no intention to violate the existing line of succession which must include the Vice President as the first successor,” Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar told reporters.
Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “really wanted to correct [the specific provision] as soon as possible,” Del Mar said.
“I was able to tell the Speaker that this will be corrected during the period of amendments, in so far as I am concerned. 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! That has to be done immediately.”
The House, in plenary session, decided Wednesday night to amend the approved committee report on the draft federal constitution by including Robredo in the line of succession during the transition period to federalism.
Del Mar moved to recommit to the committee level the draft Constitution as contained in the resolution of both chambers of Congress No. 15 under committee report 88.
No lawmaker objected to Del Mar’s motion.
The amended Article XVII (Transitory Provision) will read: “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 has been chosen and qualifies.”
Del Mar raised the issue on the floor after the proposed provision drew flak for allegedly singling out Robredo in favor of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who has a pending electoral protest against her.
House Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. then said the House would make an amendment on the matter at a proper time.
He said the amendment would be submitted to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Constitutional Amendments led by Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, a retired Court of Appeals justice.