Press Release
October 9, 2018

*Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the House Committee draft federal charter excluding Vice President Leni Robredro from the presidential line of succession

In any logical presidential line of succession, the vice president acts in place of the president in the event of the president's death, resignation or incapacity. In fact, Section 8, Article VII of our 1987 Constitution puts the Vice President first in the line of succession, followed by the Senate President and then the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Hence, the House committee draft federal charter, which skips over Vice President Leni Robredo as President Rodrigo Duterte's successor during the transition period to a federalism in the event of incapacity, is not only absurd and unjustifiable, it is also a colossal, shameless affront to long-established, recognized and practiced democratic processes.

Instead of taking the necessary time to deliberate and fulfill the important and difficult requirements in order for any shift to federalism to become successful, such as breaking up political dynasties, dismantling private armies and building financial sustainability, among others, they busy themselves in trying to break the constitutional line of succession. This further exposes President Duterte's federalism as a sham, with the sole intent of extending their stay in power.

I am confident that the majority of my fellow senators, including Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto, will not support such a brazen move and will see it for what it is: an attempt not just to coopt, but to weaponize, the senate in aid of their agenda. It must not see the light of day in the Senate.

If the vulgar "pepedederalismo" video signed the death warrant of President Duterte's federalism, the House committee draft federal charter is the final nail in the coffin. It is the match that ignites its political cremation.

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