Carpio: Duterte's 'transfer of powers' to Leni needs writing, extent of authority

Carpio: Duterte's 'transfer of powers' to Leni needs writing, extent of authority
President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted to see how Vice President Leni Robredo would handle the drug problem if she possessed the power for six months.
The STAR / Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s supposed transfer of “power to enforce the law” to Vice President Leni Robredo would need a written order that would define the extent of authority to be given, said retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio.

In a fellowship night with reporters Tuesday, Carpio said the president, being the chief executive, has the authority to delegate certain powers.

He explained: “It is a principle in law that the president can delegate his powers because he cannot do all under the system of government. Executive power is vested in one person, the president.”

READ: Duterte tells Robredo: Drug war yours if you want it

 But the retired justice said that this has to be done in writing.

“Because... there are responsibilities once you assume certain powers,” he added.

He also said that the extent of delegation of authority remains unknown including people or agencies that would be placed under Robredo.

“It’s [a] very broad proposal and it’s very difficult to define what kind of work the person to whom it is delegated will do,” Carpio added.

Duterte: ‘Mas bright ka? Ikaw, subukan mo’

Robredo earlier suggested that there should be a “tweaking” in the Duterte government’s controversial war on drugs.

A seemingly irate Duterte said in response that if Robredo is “brighter,” then he would let her handle it.

The president told reporters last Monday, October 28: “I am sending a letter to her through Executive Secretary [Salvador] Medialdea. I will surrender the power to enforce the law, I will give it to the vice president, I will let her have it for six months.”

The vice president, however, refused to comment on Duterte’s offer and said she would rather focus on more pressing matters in the country.

What the laws say

The 1987 Constitution provides that the president can transmit his powers to the vice president only through a written declaration addressed to the Senate president and House speaker.

Section 11. Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.

The vice president shall then serve as the acting president. — Kristine Joy Patag





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