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American style: Next President, VP should be elected in tandem – Atienza

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said the next President and Vice President of the country should be elected in tandem just like in the United States.

Atienza’s remarks came following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that he still distrusts Vice President Leni Robredo—who will remain cabinet outcast despite her recent designation as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Atienza cited the present situation justified the need now to adopt the American set-up in selecting the country’s top two officials in the next polls.

The President last Tuesday mentioned that he and Robredo belonged to different political parties, and that she might compromise sensitive information obtained during cabinet meetings owing to her penchant to “talk right and left.”

“Our current set up wherein the president and the vice president may belong to different political parties is really problematic, counterproductive and highly impractical,” said Atienza.

“We should adopt the American system wherein the president and the vice president are elected together as one ticket belonging to the same party,” he added.

If given the opportunity, Atienza said he would push for amendments to the 1987 Constitution so that the president and the vice president would be elected jointly, rather than separately.

The former Manila mayor said the same rule “should also apply to governors and vice governors as well as mayors and vice mayors.”

“They too should be elected in tandem and have the same party affiliation all the time,” said Atienza.

Atienza said the adopting the American set-up will also prevent a vice president without a cabinet portfolio and who has no other meaningful function—tends to end up “as a mere kibitzer.”

The United States vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch—as President of United States Senate.

The U.S. vice president presides over the 100-members of their Senate.

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