MANILA - The Charter change proposal by the ruling party may abolish the Office of the Vice President, but will allow President Rodrigo Duterte to be reelected as Chief Executive in 2022, a former lawmaker said Sunday.
"Under the PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) Constitution, the office of the Vice President will be abolished by 2019 if they succeed in having the new Constitution ratified during the 2019 elections," Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares said in a statement.
"Vice-President Leni Robredo will be ousted from her office long before her term ends in 2022."
Colmenares said that while PDP-Laban may argue that this will not apply to Robredo, this "is not expressed in PDP Laban Constitution since they have refused to divulge their transitory provision."
Even if Robredo is allowed to stay until 2022, she will be a "lame-duck Vice President who is not even listed in the line of succession to Pres. Duterte," he added.
Colmenares noted that under Section 7, Article VII of the PDP Laban Constitution, "it is the Senate President and if incapacitated, the Speaker who shall succeed Pres. Duterte in case of death, or removal from office."
"The Vice-President is not mentioned at all in the line of succession because, upon ratification of the new Constitution, her office no longer exists," he said.
On the other hand, the current proposal to change the Constitution does not disqualify Duterte from running for President again when his 6-year term ends in 2022, Colmenares said.
"In fact, under Section 3, Article VII of the PDP Laban Constitution it allows the President to run for a second term," the leftist leader said.
"Section 3, Article VII of the PDP Laban Constitution provides that 'no person shall serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms.'"
Malacañang had said that Duterte does not find a term extension "attractive."
The Duterte has administration has pushed for charter Change to pave the way for a shift to a federal system of government, which they said will be vital to fighting poverty in Mindanao and ending a Muslim separatist insurgency there.