VP Leni re change to Federalism: No term extension for incumbents

VP Leni re change to Federalism: No term extension for incumbents

The Vice-president Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is quite busy these days.

She has an election protest to contend with  Bong Bong Marcos, a weekly radio program, defending Rappler from the Securities Exchange Commission’s revocation of its registration, and criticizing the move of the Duterte administration regarding the change of form of government to federalism.

Just recently she made others her opinion re what she perceived attack on press freedom saying that:“Ito pinagmumulan ‘to ng pagkabahala nating lahat kasi alam natin na parang yung freedom of the press, freedom of expression ay kabilang sa mga karapatan na itinataguyod sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon.”     *
Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo (photo credit to owner)

Now that the Senate committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes have started the hearing regarding the proposal of the current government structure to shift to Federalsim , the Vice President in an interview with reporters in an outreach activity in Muntinlupa City made another bold statement regarding such action.

She said that any change in the 1987 Constitution should not benefit any incumbent politicians like herself, when an issue regarding a proposal of term extension of the current administration officials was floated by some quarters.

“What I am not in favor of is passing a new Constitution that will benefit those who did the passing,” the Vice President said.

“For example, we are incumbents. If the new Constitution that will be passed states no more term limits or no more elections, it would not seem right as it gives our people the impression that we only enacted this to benefit ourselves,” said Robredo, who is also the chair of the opposition Liberal Party (LP).

Allies of the President in the House Constitutional Ammendments Committee has started drafting a new Constitution following President Duterte’s desire to decentralize the power from ‘Imperial Manila’.

“If anyone will benefit at all,” she said, “it should be those who are elected next, not us, because the trust of the people is very important to us.”  *

“If we lose that trust, true representation will be lost. If the ones we trust to give voice to us breaks that covenant, it’s the institution that will be destroyed. And in a democracy, we believe that the strength of the institutions of government are of paramount importance,” Robredo said.

In the same interview the Vice-President made known her preference to constitutional convention method in amending the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

“From the very start, I have always been in favor of constitutional convention because it gives the people the opportunity to choose who will represent them in the [convention]. Second, the constitutional [convention delegates] will be focused on framing the Constitution without being [distracted] by other work,” she said.

 “Our worry is that under a constituent assembly, while it’s true… that we will spend less, our lawmakers have quite many responsibilities so they may not be able to focus on the amendments, which to us are very important,” the Vice President said,

Between speed and cost, “we should pick the option that ensures there will be focus and gives voice to the people,” Robredo added.

The Congress acting as a Con-ass, by constitutional convention or Con-con, or by a people’s initiative through a petition by 12 percent of the electorate, are three methods by which the 1987 Constitution allows itself to be amended or revised.    *

The Vice President is indeed really busy these days.
Report from PDI



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