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Next President, VP to be elected in tandem under Rodriguez ‘surgical’ cha-cha

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The country’s next President and Vice President will be elected in tandem just like in the United States should the so-called “surgical Charter Change” of Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez prospers.

Rodriguez, chair of the House the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, cited the need for a tandem vote for country’s top two positions, noting that there should be “unanimity and cohesiveness… so that they can proceed forward with their party platforms.”

Rodriguez, former dean of the San Sebastian College of Law, noted that he finds it is difficult if the President and VP come from two different political entities since “there already a friction” from the beginning.

“They would not be stepping in the same platform and vision. So therefore, to be able to have a President and Vice President that immediately upon election (can) move forward and work hard for the people, there will be a tandem voting,” said Rodriguez.

“A vote for the President (is) automatically a vote for the Vice President.”

According to Rodriguez, the tandem voting is one of the so-called “surgical amendments” in the still unnumbered resolution that seeks to introduce amendments in the 1987 Constitution.

Rodriguez described the said proposed amendment as “surgical” since there are only four proposed revisions—the urgent ones—that needs action immediately.

Rodriguez’s panel on Wednesday discreetly approved the Cayetano-backed Cha-cha despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent pronouncement that it would will no longer be a priority in his remaining years in office.

The still unnumbered Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) specifically seeks to amend Articles 6, 10, 12, 14, and 16 of the current charter and it will have to be approved by three-fourths of both House of Representatives and the Senate, voting separately.

The measure seeks to lift the economic restrictions of the post-EDSA charter by adding the phrase “unless, otherwise provided by law” in specific areas of the 1987 Constitution—natural resources, foreign ownership of land, media, education and advertising.

Rodriguez also said his committee took its cue from House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano over fixing the terms of lawmakers to five years—capable of three consecutive re-elections.

The number of senators from 12 will be increased to 27. Senators under Rodriguez’s proposal will be elected per regions, with three senators each.

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