The Sharing of Power


President-to-be Benigno Aquino III a few weeks ago said in a news conference that he would be sharing 50% to 80% of his power to Mar Roxas should both of them get elected. This statement sparked a lot of debate mostly about how this prove that Aquino is incompetent, unprepared, and undeserving of the presidential position. And even though we do not even know what the specific powers that would be shared, let me still try to defend my candidate.

This reminded me of a story my dad used to tell me when I was a kid. During Magsaysay’s bid for presidency, he was looking for a running mate. He asked then Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson to be his running mate but the offer was turned down. Lacson was rumored to have said that the vice president’s only job is to pray that the president dies, and that Magsaysay was as strong as a carabao so that it is unlikely to happen.

The vice-presidents of the post-Marcos era have had more to do than praying for the president’s death. Vice president Laurel became head of foreign affairs. Vice president Estrada was head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission. Vice president Arroyo was the head of DSWD and vice president De Castro was the head of HDMF (formerly Pag-IBIG).

On this 4 cases, no vice president was given enough power to experience what it is like to be a president. If we think about it, each president’s executive secretary has more presidential function than the supposed next in line.

I remember a comic strip where, in a classroom, a teacher asks her smart-ass student who is the second most powerful man in the country. The boy answered executive secretary. The teacher said it was wrong and that the correct answer is the vice president. The class then burst into laughter, heckling their teacher.

So now we have our president to be claiming that he would share 50%-80% of his power to his running mate should they both win. Let me point out first that he said share, not give. Think of it as something like flying a plane. Aquino would be the captain and Roxas would be the first officer. In commercial aviation, the first officer is the second pilot (sometimes referred to as the “co-pilot”) of an aircraft. The first officer is second-in-command of the aircraft, to the captain who is the legal commander. In the event of incapacitation of the captain, the first officer will assume command of the aircraft. Even when the first officer is the one flying plane, the captain remains ultimately responsible for the aircraft, its passengers, and the crew. In typical day-to-day operations, the essential job tasks remain fairly equal.

On the previous four administrations, the vice president is not given that much responsibility the same way a captain would share to his co-pilot. The reason is probably because the president and vice president is not from the same party or they are not in very good terms.

On the previous four administrations, 2 of the vice presidents ended up being the next president. Wouldn’t it make sense giving them some practice?

Of course, all of these discussion is moot if Roxas do not win the vice presidency.

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About Squared
House of Squared is written by that guy who knows more than the average Duterte supporter, which isn't saying much given that most of them are morons.

One Response to The Sharing of Power

  1. dBlah says:

    the vp is always in support, i thinks (and I hope) but i agree that there is no clear cut description as to how their powers and responsibilities extend,

    *bloghopping. exchange links? just give me a heads up back in my blog. thanks!*

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