MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on constitutional amendments placed Vice President Leni Robredo back in the line of succession during the shift to federalism, under the lower chamber's draft constitution.
This was confirmed to Rappler by panel chairperson and Leyte 3rd District Representative Vicente Veloso on Monday, November 12.
He said the committee members unanimously approved amending Section 4, Article XVII on the Transitory Provisions of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 15 during an executive session on Monday. (READ: Highlights of the House's draft federal constitution)
"Yes, in the executive meeting we had about 1:30 this afternoon, we adopted an amendment to conform to what was agreed upon at the plenary," said Veloso.
Section 4 previously put Senate President Vicente Sotto III, not the Vice President, as next in line should President Rodrigo Duterte be unable to perform his duties during the shift to federalism.
With the amendment, Section 4 now reads: "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."
The House's draft federal constitution previously drew flak over Robredo's removal from the line of succession.
The Vice President herself took it as a sign that her critics are "too desperate" to kick her out of power.
Following criticism, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo told Cebu City 1st District Representative Raul del Mar to make a motion at the plenary to recommit RBH 15 to the House committee on constitutional amendments, which was tasked on October 10 to put the Vice President back in the line of succession.
Del Mar and Robredo both belong to the Liberal Party, of which the Vice President is party chairperson. – Rappler.com