Quezon City rep. withdraws bill after drawing flak from critics

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Quezon City 2nd District Representative Precious Hipolito Castelo withdrew a bill she filed seeking to give the President authority to choose a successor not part of the constitutional succession line.

In a letter dated August 30, 2020, Castelo said, “I write to respectfully request for the withdrawal and permanent archiving of House Bill No. 4062, which was filed on Aug. 20, 2019.” 

Said bill was filed a year ago and has remained unacted upon by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

According to Castelo, her decision to withdraw the bill was to clarify her intentions of filing said measure. Citizens have been saying she was for “ignoring or scrapping the constitutional line of succession to the presidency” because of the bill.

“That is not so, far from it. The bill does not remove the line of succession. I am for respecting that provision of the Constitution and the line of succession to the highest office,” she said.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson filed a similar bill in the Senate in 2019, but it has remained pending since.

However, under Senate Bill No. 982, the Cabinet member selected by the president to succeed him will be the last option for the presidency in case everyone in the line of succession could not act as president.

The Philippines’ 1987 Constitution provides that the vice president will act as president in case of the latter’s death or disability. If the vice president could not ascend to the presidency, the Senate president — or if he is also unable — the House speaker becomes president.

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