MANILA — Lawmakers from the House of Representative's Makabayan bloc on Friday called President Rodrigo Duterte "power hungry" and "blood thirsty" after he told the public to "consider him" a vice presidential candidate in 2022.
"Uhaw sa dugo, uhaw sa kapangyarihan. Hindi pa nakuntento sa limang taon ng pagpatay, pagpapahirap at pagpapabaya sa taumbayan," said Kabataan party-list in a statement.
(He's just hungry for blood and power. He is still not satisfied with 5 years of violence and neglect against the Filipino people.)
Duterte, who is not eligible to run again for the country's top post, on Thursday said: "Maybe at this time, you can say na, maybe, para to maintain the equilibrium sa lahat (for all), consider me as a candidate for the vice presidency at this time."
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said Duterte's bid for the vice presidency was his escape plan to avoid prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his bloody war on drugs.
"Malinaw naman na ang layunin ng kanyang pagtakbo bilang Bise Presidente ay upang matakasan ang mga kasong naghihintay sa kanya, laluna itong imbestigasyon ng ICC sa kanyang madugong War On Drugs," Gaite said.
(It's clear that Duterte does not want to be accountable before the ICC.)
A former prosecutor of the ICC had already asked the court to allow a full investigation into the killings in the anti-narcotics campaign that Duterte unleashed when he took office in 2016. The ICC has also issued the call for families of victims of the drug war to submit their concerns and views in connection with the request for investigation.
Gaite also warned the presidential candidate who would be in tandem with Duterte come election next year.
"Having Pres. Duterte as a running-mate in the election would be more of a liability rather than a boost, for that tandem would carry the public's disappointment and exhaustion from Duterte's leadership," he said.
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday advoced Duterte to just join the show business instead of seeking the vice presidency.
In May, the ruling party PDP-Laban voted to come up with a resolution urging Duterte to run for vice president in 2022 and to choose his running mate. Duterte is chairman of the party.