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Abolition of Robredo’s office beyond Duterte’s control – Roque

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said the proposal to abolish the position of Vice President under the proposed federal government iwas beyond the Palace’s control.

Roque made this reaction after the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo reportedly questioned the abolition of the Office of the Vice President.

“There’s talk about abolition of the Vice President under Charter change – that’s beyond the control of the Palace,” Roque said.

He said it would be Congress, sitting as a constituent assembly, that will propose the amendments to the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

“However, I’m sure, that because any proposed amendment to the Constitution will be subject to ratification by the people that ultimately it is the people who will judge this matter,” he explained.

Under Article 7, Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution, “in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term.”

On the other hand, Robredo’s camp claimed that the ruling PDP-Laban proposes that “in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the President of the Senate, or in case of his inability, the Speaker of the federal assembly shall then act as President until the President shall have been elected and qualified.”

Roque said Duterte agreed with Congress’ mode of revising the Constitution through constitutional assembly (Con-Ass).

“It is clear now. I looks like Con-Ass. Congress has made the decision. The President agrees because that’s the most economical mode,” Roque said.

Roque said he has yet to ask the President whether the popular Filipino leader would prefer Senate and the House of Representatives to vote separately or jointly on Charter change.

“I will ask him but I think I will see him already in the India trip, unless I go,” Roque said, referring to President Duterte’s attendance in the India-ASEAN Summit from January 23-26 in New Delhi.

Roque has reiterated that Duterte is willing to serve out his term until 2022.

“He is absolutely against extending his term. Maybe willing to cut short his term,” he said. (PNA)