Duterte not barred by law from running for VP, says spokesman
THE LAW does not bar President Rodrigo R. Duterte from running for vice president next year, according to the presidential palace, after critics said this would be anti-democracy.
“There is absolutely no ban for a President to run for vice president,” presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Monday.
Political analysts and constitutional experts have said the push for Mr. Duterte, who is barred by law from running for reelection, to run for vice president violates the spirit of the 1987 Charter.
The late President Corazon C. Aquino oversaw the drafting of the basic law that limited the powers of the presidency and re-established the bicameral Congress, which her predecessor, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, abolished.
Mr. Marcos and his family were forced into exile in the US after he was ousted by a popular street uprising in 1986.
“If you can show me a provision which bars the President from running for the position of vice president, then of course, the president will honor that,” Mr. Roque said. “But there is no literal provision that states that principle.”
The ruling PDP-Laban party last week passed a resolution urging Mr. Duterte to run for vice president at next year’s elections. It also allowed him to choose his running mate.
The Palace on Monday maintained that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is not barred by the post-dictatorship Constitution from running for the country’s second highest position.
This, after political observers said that Mr. Duterte’s potential vice-presidential bid would violate the spirit of the 34-year old Charter, which was made after hundreds of thousands of Filipinos toppled the dictator during the 1986 People Power EDSA Revolution.
“There is absolutely no ban for a president to run for vice president,” Mr. Roque told a televised news briefing.
“If you can show me a provision which bars the President to run for the position of Vice President then of course the President will honor that prohibition,” he said. “But as it is, there is no literal provision on the Constitution that states that principle.”
The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) earlier passed a resolution urging its chairperson, Mr. Duterte, to run for vice president.
Constitutional experts said a potential Duterte vice presidency would circumvent a constitutional provision that says a sitting president “shall not be eligible for any reelection.”
“The word ‘any’ antecedently refers to the two previously mentioned public positions, namely the office of President and the vice president,” Melencio Santos Sta. Maria, Jr., a lawyer and dean of the Far Eastern University Institute of Law, said in a Facebook statement.
“‘Any’ cannot refer to being elected to the presidency alone. Had this been the intent, it would have been very easy for the constitutional framers to state that the President shall not be eligible for reelection as President.”
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was among those being considered by Mr. Duterte to become the ruling party’s standard bearer in the 2022 elections, Mr. Roque said last week.
Mr. Duterte’s daughter remained undecided about running, he added. The President earlier said his daughter would not follow in his footsteps.
Also included on the list of Mr. Duterte’s presidential bets were former Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., Manila Mayor Francisco M. Domagoso, Senators Christopher Lawrence T. Go and boxing champion Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, Mr. Roque said.
He said Mr. Duterte does not want his daughter to run for President.
Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco, a senior research fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University Policy Center, said the calls for Ms. Carpio to run for president could be an attempt to create an artificial clamor. “This family has been known for drama,” Antonio P. Contreras, a political science professor at the De La Salle University, said by telephone.
Albay Rep. Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda on Wednesday said Ms. Carpio would run for President and was building an alliance with various political groups.
Mr. Salceda, a member of the ruling party, said at least five political parties would support Ms. Carpio’s presidential bid.
He said a possible Duterte-Duterte tandem is not a wise idea because the administration party needs a geographical balance.
Mr. Salceda said the presidential daughter should look for a running mate who can get a significant number of votes from other regions.
Gilbert Teodoro, Jr., who lost to Benigno S.C. Aquino III in the 2010 presidential elections, said Ms. Carpio would “make a very good President of this country.”
He issued the statement after meeting with her at her office last week, where he also got vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“My impression of Mayor Sara talking about issues was that she will make a very good President of this country,” Mr. Teodoro told the ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday. “She would have the ability to unite a lot of people, she has an independent mind, she has managerial skills running a very complex city like Davao.”
He said she would be a good presidential candidate and would back her up as vice president if she runs for the office.
“There were two President Aquinos, there were two president Macapagals,” Mr. Teodoro, a former Defense secretary, said when asked about political dynasties. “I think you cannot consider Mayor Sara to be within the spirit of what a political dynasty is because she’s quite independent-minded.”
Ms. Carpio had rejected calls for her to seek the presidency in next year’s elections, asking her supporters to wait for her bid in 2034. She said policy continuity should not be based on kinship.
The Davao mayor heads a coalition that started as a regional political party. — KATA