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Arroyo may return to presidency under House draft Charter, Colmenares warns



Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares warned that House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may catapult herself back to the presidency if the House-backed draft federal Constitution will be approved.

Colmenares said that while Article XVII, Section 2 of the draft Charter provides that the incumbent President and Vice President shall continue in office until 2022, it has another provision under Section 4—wherein the President in case of death, removal from office, or unable to perform his/her duty during the transitory period, the incumbent Senate President takes over as chief executive instead of the seating VP.

Colmenares explained that with the Vice President, a post currently being held by Vice President Leni Robredo already taken out of the picture, Arroyo being the current House Speaker was two hearbeats away from the presidency.

“If the Senate president is also incapacitated or removed from office, the incumbent Speaker of the House of Representatives which happens to be Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo becomes the president,” said Colmenares.

The former solon stressed that the House draft Charter “practically negates the will of the voters who voted her VP.”

Colmenares also blasted the “flimsy and absurd” reasoning of House constitutional amendents panel chair Rep. Vicente Veloso, that making Robredo the constitutional successor during the transitory period will lead to confusion because of the pending election protest of former Sen. Bong-Bong Marcos.

“Vice Presidents, Senate Presidents and even Speakers of the house have been subject to election protests in previous occasions but this did not take them out of the constitutional line of succession,” said Colmenares.