Manila, Philippines (AP) —Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he might consider running for Vice President next year, when his term ends “if I can afford it”, but opponents said Such a prospect is described as “the worst kind of joke.” .. “
Duterte’s remarks, televised Monday night, are considering a call by controlling the PDP-Laban party’s allies to run for the Vice President’s post to continue the government’s program. It was the strongest sign of that.
The tough-speaking leader also first publicly accused Philippine senator and longtime ally Philippine boxing star Manny Pacquiao of exacerbating corruption under Duterte.
The President of the Philippines is prohibited by the 1987 Constitution from running for reelection after a six-year term. At least two former presidents, Joseph Ejercito and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ran for lower public office after serving as president rather than vice president.
The Vice President is elected separately from the President under Philippine law. If the president dies or is incapacitated for some reason, the person in the position could potentially be relegated to the top role.
“That’s not a bad idea at all, and if there’s space for me, maybe,” Duterte, 76, said of his prospects for running for Vice President. “But if I don’t have the space, everyone is gathering to be the vice president. I’m done, so leave them alone at this point.”
Duterte’s PDP-Laban Party leaders will meet on July 16-17 to finalize tickets for candidates for the presidential, vice-presidential and general elections on May 9th next year. Applicants must submit their candidates by October 8th.
At a preliminary meeting at the end of last month, Duterte members approved his call to run for Vice President next year and choose a candidate for President. Duterte initially said he wanted to retire after taking office and “resisted” the call, but refused categorically.
A new opposition coalition, 1 Sambayan, shocked the outlook for Duterte’s vice presidential election.
“The president’s vice-presidential candidate not only ridicules the Constitution, but also makes the worst joke,” said coalition leader Howard Kaleha after the ruling party announced support for Duterte’s vice-presidential candidate.
Duterte was notorious for his bloody crackdown on illicit drugs, killing thousands of mostly trivial suspects and leaving behind vulgar rhetoric, but his popularity remains high.
A retired prosecutor at the International Criminal Court said this month that preliminary examinations found reasons to believe that crimes against humanity were committed during Duterte’s drug crackdown. The prosecutor sought permission to initiate a formal investigation, and the court judge decided within 120 days.
In a statement Monday night, Duterte accused Pacquiao of PDP-Laban, who is allegedly considering participating in the presidential election, as being twice as corrupt as the previous administration under Duterte. If the popular boxer did not provide the details, he threatened to campaign against Pacquiao.
“In the last few years you haven’t said anything to me. You all praise and admire me, and now you’ll say you’re corrupt,” Duterte said.If Pacquiao did not elaborate, Duterte said it was a sign that he was “playing politics.”