Arroyo retracted draft charter to change succession line provision, lawmaker says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 11) — The House Speaker ordered the return of her proposed draft constitution, that effectively removed the Vice President in the succession line for the transition to a federal government, a lawmaker said.

Cebu Representative Raul Del Mar, who moved to recommit the proposed charter, said House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wanted the provision changed immediately.  The motion to recommit, or to send it back to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments to effect revisions, was approved by the House Plenary in Wednesday's session.

Section four paragraph 2 of the proposed draft constitution currently puts the Senate President as first in line as the President's successor in the shift to a federal form of government.

Del Mar said Arroyo wanted this provision corrected immediately.

"The Speaker really wanted to correct it as soon as possible. She not only readily agreed. She said, 'We can't wait. That has to be done immediately,'" Del Mar said.

This comes after Vice President Leni Robredo criticized the provision as a "desperate move" by the Speaker to remove her from office.

"Parang masyado naman yatang desperado. Lahat na lang iniisip kung paano ako matanggal (I think it's too desperate. Everyone is thinking of how to oust me)," Robredo told reporters on Wednesday.

READ: Robredo hits 'desperate' proposal to remove her as Duterte's successor

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also disagreed to the amendment, saying the Vice President should remain the President's "spare tire."

"I don't find the proposal logical. The Vice President is precisely there…let's put it bluntly, the Vice President is a spare tire depending how the President would consider the OVP. Certainly at the very least, the rule of succession applies and therefore, the Vice President should take over," Drilon said.

The House committee on constitutional amendments endorsed Arroyo's draft charter to the House Plenary on Monday.

Meanwhile, Senators maintained that they have no time to attend to a change of constitution.

READ: No more time for Cha-Cha in the Senate