Vice President Leni Robredo denounced moves seeking to remove her from the line of succession under a transition government, reiterating that she has the people’s mandate to act as Constitutional successor to the President.
The Vice President asserted that it is the mandate of her office to take over the presidency under specific conditions that may call for such.
“Ang mandato ng Pangalawang Pangulo, na kung mayroong mangyari, siya iyong hahalili. Kung aalisin mo iyong mandatong iyon, ano iyong matitira?” she told reporters on the sidelines of the 5th Negros Occidental Small Fishers Alliance (NOSFA) Congress in Bacolod City on Wednesday.
The proposal, already endorsed to the plenary by the House committee on constitutional amendments, is under fire over questionable provisions, including one that skips the Vice President in the line of succession, giving way instead to the Senate President.
According to Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, chair of the committee, the provision was included to avoid “instability” posed by the electoral protest filed by defeated candidate Bongbong Marcos against VP Leni.
The Vice President said such assertion is ridiculous, because an ongoing protest has not gotten in the way of officials exercising their mandate. She pointed out that Veloso himself faced an electoral protest when he won by an even slimmer margin in the last elections.
“Ipapaalala ko lang sa kaniya na ako, iyong lamang ko kay Mr. Marcos, more than 200,000 [votes]. Siya, ang lamang niya sa eleksyon, less than 100. Mayroon ding protest laban sa kaniya. Gusto bang sabihin, dapat sana before natapos iyong protest case, huwag muna siyang umupo bilang congressman, at hindi muna niya puwedeng gawin iyong mandato niya dahil mayroong protest?” she said.
“Alam naman natin na dito sa atin, kapag may eleksyon, maraming mga nananalo na talagang kinakasuhan ng mga hindi matanggap iyong resulta ng eleksyon. Pero hindi natin iyon hahayaan na makagambala sa mandatong binibigay sa atin,” she added.
VP Leni tagged this as another “desperate” attempt to steal power from her office, calling on the Filipino people to remain vigilant over such moves. She also noted that other lawmakers, including Senate President Tito Sotto, have decisively thumbed down the said proposal.
“Narinig natin iyong iba pang mga kongresista, na hindi nila alam na may ganoong probisyon. Parang nilusot lang talaga siya,” she said.
“Para sa mga kababayan natin, pagpapaalala na hindi tayo puwedeng magkampante, kasi ngayon, more than two years after the elections, talagang gumagawa pa din ng paraan para makaupo. Hindi nadala sa eleksyon, ginagawa through other means,” she added. “Alam naman natin na hindi ito ipapayag ng ating mga kababayan.”