Duterte in Marcos Cabinet? Palace says there's no legal impediment

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2022 02:21 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Malacañan Palace on May 23, 2022. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Malacañan Palace on May 23, 2022. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte faces no legal hurdle should he wish to join the Cabinet of his successor President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Malacañang said on Friday. 

Marcos on Thursday said he was "certainly open" to the idea of tapping Duterte as a drug czar. 

"There is no legal impediment for a former president to assume an executive position in the executive branch. Actually puwede nga rin pong tumakbo, hindi lang sa pagkapangulo ulit," said Acting Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Kris Ablan. 

(Actually he can run for office, just no for president again.)

"Whether tatatanggapin 'yan ni President Duterte, nasa kanya na po 'yan... Welcome po yang balita na yan kasi si Presidente na mismo ang nagsabi na kailangan pa rin tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang laban sa droga," he said in a press briefing. 

(Whether or not President Duterte accepts that, it's up to him... That is welcome news because the President himself said that the drug fight must be continued.) 

But Ablan also noted that Duterte, who steps down on June 30, previously said he was "looking forward" to retirement from public office. 

Marcos on Thursday said he met with Duterte "several" times before the May 9 elections and that the latter advised him to continue the anti-narcotics crackdown. 

"Ang kanya sinasabi niya, one thing he was assertive about [was] ituloy ang anti-drug syndicate (sic) na sinimulan ko. Do it your own way. He really said that. Palitan mo... but wag mong iiwanan yan kasi kawawa ang kabataan natin. Talagang nasisira ang buhay nila," he added. 

(One thing he was assertive about was to continue the anti-drug syndicate that I started... You may change it but do not leave it because our youth will be pitiful. Their lives will be destroyed.)

The crackdown unleashed in 2016 has killed thousands of suspected drug peddlers and users, and is the subject of a suspended inquiry by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity.
 
While Duterte recently admitted it was wrong for him to promise a quick end to the drug war, he also remained unapologetic of the campaign. 

Duterte's father Vicente had served in the Cabinet of Marcos Jr's father and namesake. 

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