Ping: Leadership Vacuum Iwasan, “Designated Survivor” Measure, Isabatas Na

Ayon Kay Ping

Agosto 31, 2020 - Dapat maisabatas na agad ang “Designated Survivor” legislation upang maiwasan ang constitutional crisis at pagkabakante ng liderato ng bansa sakali mang magkaroon ng ‘di-inaasahang pangyayari (“exceptional circumstances”) kagaya ng terorismo.

Ayon kay Senador Panfilo Lacson na naghain ng naturang panukala sa Senado, ang mabilis na pagsasabatas nito ay magsisilbing lunas sa limitasyon sa isinasaad ng Saligang Batas tungkol sa pagpasa ng liderato ng bansa o line of succession bunga ng mga ‘di-inaasahang pangyayari.

“Because of the failure of Congress to pass the necessary legislation in extending the line of succession beyond the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a constitutional crisis is possible if all four top elected officials, God forbid, die in one event such as the SONA due to a terrorist attack in the Batasang Pambansa, or any occasion where the President and all three officials in the line of constitutional succession are present,” paliwanag ni Lacson.

“If such a tragedy occurs, who will act as President until the next election of the President and Vice President, since the constitutional line of succession to the President stops at the House Speaker?” tanong ng mambatas.

“With all that said, I hope the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Laws will immediately conduct a hearing on Senate Bill No. 982, which I filed in August last year – or appoint me as subcommittee chairman, as I am willing and ready to sponsor and defend such an important piece of legislation on the Senate floor,” banggit ni Lacson.

Sa ilalim ng 1987 Constitution, sakop ng line of presidential succession ang Pangalawang Pangulo, Senate President at House Speaker.

Nguni’t kung may nangyari sa tatlo na maaaring magresulta para hindi nila lahat magampanan ang mga responsibilidad bilang lider ng bansa, wala nang natukoy sa Saligang Batas kung sino ang susunod.

Ayon kay Lacson, ang mga ito ay nangangahulugan na nasa Saligang Batas din ang pagkakaroon ng “Designated Survivor” na lider ng bansa.

“Congress shall, by law, provide for the manner in which one who is to act as President shall be selected until a President or a Vice-President shall have qualified, in case of death, permanent disability, or inability of the officials mentioned in the next preceding paragraph,” banggit ni Lacson sa isinasaad sa Art. VII, Sec. 7 ng 1987 Constitution.

“Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as President in case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the Acting President. He shall serve until the President or the Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers and disqualifications as the Acting President,” paliwanag nito sa Art. VII, Sec. 8 ng Saligang Batas.

“Needless to say, passing such legislation is not only constitutional. It is in fact, required under the 1987 Constitution,” ayon pa kay Lacson.

Nakakalungkot lamang umano na ang bersiyon sa Mababang Kapulungan ay iniatras ng may-akda nito, dagdag ni Lacson.

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 982, nakalista ang kwalipikadong mamuno sa pamahalaan sakali mang hindi na umubra ang mga nasa pinakamataas na posisyon sa pamahalaan:

* Pinakabeteranong miyembro ng Senado, batay sa haba ng taon ng paninilbihan bilang senador;

* Pinakabeteranong miyembro ng Mababang Kapulungan na may pinakamahaba ring taon sa serbisyo sa Kamara;

* Miyembro ng Gabinete na itinalaga ng Pangulo.

Laman din ng panukalang batas na kapag ang lahat ng mataas na lider ng bansa ay nasa isang pagtitipon, ang “designated survivor” na itinalaga ng Pangulo ay nakatago sa isang ligtas na lugar para mapamunuan ang bansa sakali man na silang lahat ay mapahamak nang sabay-sabay.

“In the event of an extraordinary circumstance resulting in the death or permanent disability of the President, Vice President and the officials mentioned… the designated member of the Cabinet shall act as President,” saad sa panukala.

Gaganap bilang pinuno ang Acting President hanggang bawiin ito ng hinalal na Pangulo sa loob ng 90 araw ng pormal nitong pag-upo.

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