MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte said floating the idea of running for vice president in the upcoming national elections is merely a tactic, even as he acknowledged being open to the idea.
According to Duterte, he is just using the issue to scare his critics.
"Ako naman, 'yung vice president ko, pantakot lang sa kanila 'yan, pero sabi ko let us see," he said during Monday's recorded public speech.
(For me, the vice presidency talk, that is just to scare them off. But let us see.)
"If it is good for the country, I will do it. If it does not contribute to our republic, 'wag na lang. Magsasayang lang tayo ng oras (We will just waste time), pati you contribute to the conundrum of the moment," Duterte added.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, during the same briefing, reiterated that there is nothing illegal with the possibility of Duterte running for vice president.
"Na 'yung prohibition ay ang pagtakbo ng nakaupong president sa halalan. Sa madaling sabi, kung matapos ang kaniyang termino, eh hindi na siya pupwedeng tumakbo uling president. 'Yun po ang ipinagbabawal at 'yun ang maliwanag. Wala pong sinasabi ang Saligang Batas na ang presidenteng nakaupo ay hindi na pupwedeng tumakbo sa ibang posisyon," he said.
(The prohibition is for the incumbent president to run in the elections. In short, once the term ends, he is not allowed to run for president again. That's what's prohibited and that is clear. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the incumbent president cannot run for other positions.)
Panelo also reiterated that there is no truth that Duterte is eyeing the vice-presidency to remain in power and avoid his alleged crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, as his possible vice presidential bid is just to support the incoming administration.
Duterte, who is not eligible to run again for the country's top post, is being urged by some of his party mates at PDP-Laban to seek the vice presidency in next year's polls and choose his running mate.