Duterte’s VP bid to escape lawsuits ‘shameless, legally insane’ — Bayan Muna
MANILA, Philippines — Party-list group Bayan Muna on Sunday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s “shameless” and “legally insane” plans on running for vice president in the 2022 national elections to escape lawsuits.
This came after Duterte on Saturday teased that he will run for vice president in the upcoming elections to get immunity from the lawsuits that he may face once he steps down as chief executive.
Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmeranes said he hoped that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was able to monitor and record Dutere’s statements.
“Pres. Duterte’s declaration to run for the vice presidency in order to escape imprisonment after his term ends is shameless and legally insane. The people should not allow a person to become our vice-president, not to serve the country, but for self-serving personal interest,” said Colmenares.
“Matapos ang ilang beses nyang sabihing matapang sya at hindi sya takot makulong, ngayon nabisto na sinungaling pala sya. Kung takot si Pres. Duterte na makasuhan at makulong, paano na lang ang mga pulis at mga opisyal na pinangakuan nya ng proteksyon at pardon?” he added.
(After he said a few times that he was brave and he was not afraid of being imprisoned, now it was discovered that he was a liar. If Pres. Duterte is scared to be charged and imprisoned, what about the police and officers he promised protection and pardon?)
According to Colmenares, not only is it against the Constitution for Duterte to run for vice president, but he also reiterated that a vice president is not immune from lawsuits.
“A person can only be president of the Philippines once and Pres. Duterte cannot do indirectly what he is prohibited from doing directly. While the 1973 Constitution during martial law expressly provided that the President and his subordinates are immune from suit, this immunity was dropped in the 1987 Constitution. There is even no presidential immunity under the 1987 Constitution,” he explained
Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said that it was obvious Duterte wants to escape accountability, adding that Duterte’s plans were merely a “false self-assurance just to pander himself and his allies.”
“Malinaw na gustong takasan ni Pang. Duterte ang accountability niya sa kanyang bloody wars at iba pang pagkakasala sa bayan ng kanyang administrasyon,” said Zarate.
(President Duterte clearly wants to run away from accountability for his bloody wars and other offenses.)
“He knows that no such immunity is given to a vice president – he is aware of this truism just like he [knew] then in 2016 while campaigning for the presidency that he will not really jetski himself to the Spratlys,” he added.
Duterte has been hinting — and teasing — about his VP bid for some time now. In a public briefing on July 12, he claimed that the reason he mentioned running for Vice President was only to “scare” his political opponents.
He, however, said he was still considering the move if it would really be good for the country.
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