Solons have called out President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he plans to seek office once again in next year’s elections, this time as the Vice President (VP), as a plan to maintain political strength as well as avoid persecution once he steps down.
Duterte said that his VP run would somehow “maintain equilibrium”, with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as the President under the banner of Partido ng Demkratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Meanwhile, Magdalo Representative Manuel Cabochan III expressed bewilderment at the 76-year-old’s bid for the vice-presidency, citing Duterte’s statement at the beginning of his term in 2016 that he would resign if he failed to uphold his campaign promises within three to six months.
These include ending the illegal drug trade in the country, as well as contractualization.
Cabochan reiterated further that Duterte himself said he was “tired of his job”, and surmised that running for VP “boils down to two things: lust for power and fear of retribution.”
With Duterte in power once more, his political leverage would remain strong for him and his allies, should they be sought out for accountability over the administration’s shortcomings and alleged misdeeds.
“Both [power and protection] are wrong. Let’s not add to the drama and fooling people” the former Naval intelligence officer stated.
On the other hand, Bayan Muna Representative Ferdinand Gaite spoke in support of Cabochan’s warnings but believes that Duterte’s VP run would only be a “liability” to his daughter’s campaign.
“That tandem would carry the public’s disappointment and exhaustion from Mr. Duterte’s leadership … The President will be just excess baggage for his running mate” Gaite explained.
For the Bayan Muna Rep., the President’s clear goal is to “escape accountability” from the issues hounding him, such as the International Criminal Court’s investigation into the Extra-judicial Killings (EJKs) carried out under the justification of a war on drugs.
As of writing, the 2022 presidential elections remain slated to take place on May 9.