The Palace slammed Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV on Monday over his remarks that President Rodrigo Duterte and her daughter Sara will be rejected by voters in the May 2022 polls.
“I’m afraid he cannot claim to be the spokesperson of the people of this country. We will only know the people’s decision after the election. That is why, we must have an election,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said partly in Filipino in a press briefing in Pasay City.
Roque also shrugged off the statement made by 1Sambayan coalition convenor Howard Calleja that he believes Filipinos will reject a possible Duterte-Duterte tandem, trusting that Filipinos will see their supposed decision to run as a “selfish move”.
“People will make the decision. But it surprises me how members of the opposition think they are the spokesperson of the people,” he said partly in Filipino.
Citing Pulse Asia’s September 2020 survey results, he said only less than 5 percent disapproved of Duterte’s performance as president.
“If you look at the surveys, less than 5 percent do not support our President. So let’s be careful, even though you are said to be the voice of the people, you may just be the voice of a barangay,” he added partly in Filipino.
Roque also maintained that Duterte’s possible bid for the country’s second-highest post is allowed under the 1987 Constitution.
One of the framers of the Constitution and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Christian Monsod earlier said efforts by the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban to convince Duterte to run for vice president is clearly an “ingenious and insidious move to circumvent the Constitutional provision on reelection.”
The 1987 Constitution states that the president shall be in office for a term of six years and “shall not be eligible for any reelection”.
“There is absolutely no ban for a president to run for vice president. If you can show me a provision which bars the president to run for the position of vice president, then, of course, the president will honor that prohibition. But as it is, there is no literal provision in the Constitution that states that principle,” Roque said.
He said Duterte has yet to decide on the PDP-Laban’s resolution convincing him to run.
Last week, Roque assured that beating Covid-19 and boosting the vaccination drive remain Duterte’s top priority.
He also admitted that Duterte did mention “options” as to who could be his running mate including Sara Duterte, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Senator Manny Pacquiao, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. SOVEREIGNPH