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Palace unfazed by Rody VP bid critics

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Malacañang on Saturday shrugged off the possible complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte’s vice-presidential run before the Supreme Court (SC).

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque downplayed the willingness of lawyer Christian Monsod to question the legality of Duterte’s potential vice-presidential bid, saying the latter would lose.

“Not at all,” Roque said when asked if the Palace was worried over Monsod’s plan.

“He will lose,” he added, referring to Monsod. “It was bereft of merit.”

Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, repeatedly declared in television interviews that he would ask the SC to judge whether Duterte’s potential vice-presidential run was aligned with the provisions of the Charter.

Describing Duterte’s candidacy as a “backdoor” to another presidential term, Monsod said the move was a clear attempt to “circumvent the constitutional provision on reelection.”

“I’m sure somebody will question his (Duterte’s) candidacy. I’m sure somebody will file and if nobody files, then I’ll file,” he told a radio interview over the weekend.
Monsod explained that the framers of the Charter included the “no re-election” provision to ensure that no chief executive would hold the country’s top post for over six years.

Duterte’s possible bid sparked debate whether it was constitutional, since the Charter provides a six-year term for a president without reelection, silent on a chief executive running for the government’s second highest post.

Some former SC justices and lawyers have raised varying views on the matter.

Retired SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a vocal critic of Duterte and his handling of the South China Sea dispute, acknowledged that Duterte can run for vice president in the May 2022 elections.

He said the constitutional prohibition on reelection refers to the presidency, not to lower government posts such as the vice presidency.

“There is no ban for the president from running for any other position that includes the vice presidency. And if he wins, he becomes a successor, but that is not reelection,” he told the Daily Tribune last week. He reiterated his point in his succeeding interviews.

“Succession is not reelection,” Carpio added.

Under the 35-year-old Charter, the line of presidential succession follows the order of: vice president, Senate president and House speaker.

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