Out of the loop


Vice President Leni Robredo and her Liberal Party (LP) officials are either overly worried over something that is unlikely to come about, or they are into their usual useless propaganda bid to convince the Filipinos that she is indeed the duly elected Vice President of the Philippines, given that her victory is under protest by her rival, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos with his belief that he had been cheated of his victory by Leni’s alleged fraudulent win.

For two days running, at least from the time Speaker Gloria Arroyo’s announced that her draft constitution has been elevated to the House plenary, Leni, her spokesman and her camp have been coming up with preposterous claims on a specific provision where the Vice President’s position under a transition government is removed from the line of succession.

This particular provision had Robredo’s spokesman, Barry Gutierrez, slamming this as a “power grab,” which sounds pretty stupid, considering that Arroyo’s draft charter, which evidently has the vote of the congressmen, has not even reached the Senate which is likely to junk it.

But it truly is laughable for Leni and her spokesman to even claim the draft charter excluding her as a constitutional successor is a power grab, considering the fact that it has always been the yellows and their allies who are the certified power grabbers. They should shut up because they look stupid in claiming this.

The Arroyo draft charter has the Senate president as a successor to the top political post should President Duterte be unable to lead the transition government.

Except for the Vice President locked out of the draft constitutional succession, the present Constitution has the Senate president as successor in the event of twin vacancies in the presidential and vice-presidential seats.

President Duterte has till 2022 after which he has to give way to a newly elected President and government. The Chief Executive has stated too many times that he believes Leni is too weak to take over the reins of government, should he quit the presidency.

It should, however, be pointed out that it is not for Duterte to decide who or what should succeed him. It is the present Constitution that decrees it is the Vice President who is the constitutional successor and, if there is no VP, the next in line is the Senate president at the time, followed by the Speaker—should the Senate president thumb down the presidency—till new elections are called, after some 45 to 60 days or so. It will be the people who will elect their choice for the presidential seat.

But why should Leni and her LP object to her being out of the draft constitutional loop, considering the possibility that Bongbong Marcos, given a three-year period, may just win his protest against Robredo. In which case, it will be Marcos who will not become the constitutional successor to the presidency.

So what do these yellows, Reds, Whites and not to forget the usual student activists who appear to have trashed their studies preferring to walk out of their classrooms and demonstrate and protest in streets who have been so against the Marcoses?

Do they want Marcos to be a constitutional successor in a transition government, or are they merely against excluding Leni as the constitutional successor so these yellows can take over power again without the benefit of an election?

Biases aside, there are certain good provisions in Arroyo’s draft constitution, one of which stands out: Federal states will be created by the Senate, if not Congress and not spelled out immediately in a Constitution, which is fairly logical, since it is Congress that comes up with legislative measures creating new districts. Why not states, under a Federal-presidential system.

But it is useless to argue over a draft constitution that will never come to light. Why use up energy for something that will likely not come to pass?

And it is stupidity on the part of the yellows and Leni to even make a sham issue out of it considering that the Arroyo draft constitution is never going to reach plebiscite status as it is certain that the Senate will not even entertain the thought of taking this up as a priority legislative issue. Besides, there is really is no time for Congress to pass this should this Arroyo proposed charter even be taken into consideration by the Senate.

It should be noted that it was also at this time that suddenly the media, mostly the anti-Duterte media, had become too curious about the presidential health, with some perhaps hoping that he is terminally ill.

The power grabbers must be disappointed since the official word is out that Duterte has no cancer, as test results, he said, were negative for cancer.

Give it up, yellows, Reds and Whites. At this time, not even a yellow is likely to win a Senate seat. That’s the way a smelly yellow cookie crumbles.

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