Palace: Duterte’s VP bid doesn’t violate Constitution

President Rodrigo Duterte | Malacañang photo by Ace Morandante

MALACAÑANG has maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte’s vice presidential bid in the 2022 national elections is legal.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement on Tuesday, September 28, after a survey found that the majority of Filipinos believe Duterte’s candidacy violates the intent of the Constitution.

“Abogado rin naman ang Presidente. Sa tingin niya, hindi ‘yan labag sa Saligang Batas kasi walang (The president is also a lawyer. In his opinion, his vice presidential bid does not violate the Constitution because there is no) express prohibition and therefore it is allowed,” he said in a Palace briefing.

However, Roque noted that Duterte is “sensitive” to the public’s opinion and could reconsider his plan to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.

“Ang masasabi ko lang po, sensitibo po ang Presidente sa pulso ng taumbayan. Hintayin na lang po natin ang kaniyang pinal na desisyon (All I can say is that the President is sensitive to the pulse of the people. Let us just wait for his final decision),” he said.

When asked if it’s possible that Duterte might withdraw his vice presidential bid, Roque reiterated that nothing is final.

“Anything is possible unless and until the certificate of candidacy (COC) is filed,” said the spokesman.

The filing of COC is set for October 1 to 8 this year.

On Monday, Sept. 27, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released a survey showing that 60% of Filipinos agree that Duterte’s vice-presidential candidacy “violates the intention of the Constitution, which should first be amended before he may run for office again.”

Meanwhile, 39% of Filipinos said that Duterte should seek the vice presidency because they “like his management of the government to continue.”

The remaining 1% did not give an answer, according to the pollster.

By area, the proportion of those who said Duterte’s vice presidential bid would violate the Constitution was highest in Balance Luzon with 65%. This was followed by the Visayas (59%), Metro Manila (56%), and Mindanao (53%).

The majority of Filipino respondents in all educational levels also shared this view, 67% among non-elementary graduates, 70% among elementary graduates, 52% among junior high school graduates, and 61% among college graduates.

The survey was conducted from June 23 to 26 through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents aged 18 and above from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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