Christian Monsod, a lawyer and one of the authors of the 1987 Constitution, expressed his willingness to file a complaint should President Rodrigo Duterte go through with his intention to run for the vice presidency in the upcoming elections.
According to Monsod, who was also the former chairperson of the Commission on Elections, said that this was likely an indirect means to yet another presidential term, which was at odds with the Constitution. Though not explicitly illegal, Monsod described the planned move as a “palusot” or a “backdoor” to the presidency.
“Because that vacancy can be created [by the president] simply resigning, hindi yata ‘yun ang intent ng Constitution,” he explained. He added that the risk of it happening was greater should incumbent Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President’s daughter, become Chief Executive.
The Constitution states that a president can only serve a single six-year term after which s/he is not eligible for reelection; which, said Monsod, should be viewed as a block against presidents staying in office for more than one term. He also warned social justice against political dynasties becoming “meaningless.”
Duterte has on several occasions expressed openness to run for the vice presidency next year. Previously, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban party through a resolution asked him to run for the second-highest post in the land, for so-called “continuity.” As part of the resolution, Duterte could choose his own presidential candidate.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also echoed Monsod’s concerns, stating that his candidacy “could pose a serious problem of succession to the presidency later on.