President Rodrigo Duterte is “sensitive” to the public’s opinion and could still reconsider his plan to join the 2022 vice presidential race, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
This, after results of the Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) June 23 to 26 poll found that 60 percent of 1,200 adult Filipinos believed that Duterte’s potential vice presidential run could violate the intention of the Constitution “which should first be amended before he may run for office again”.
The survey also bared that only 39 percent of the respondents expressed support for Duterte’s vice presidential bid because they like “his management of the government to continue.” One percent refused to comment.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in an online press briefing, reiterated that the 1987 Constitution is not prohibiting Duterte from gunning for vice presidency.
“Duterte’s vice presidential bid does not violate the Constitution and there is no expressed prohibition and therefore it is allowed,” Roque said in Filipino.
In July, Roque said Section 4, Article 7 of the Constitution is “clear” that Duterte is ineligible only if the chief executive seeks reelection.
Still, Duterte would consider the Filipino voters’ opinion, Roque said in his latest remarks.
“However, I could say that the President is sensitive to the pulse of the public. Let us just wait for his final decision,” he said in Filipino.
Quizzed if there is a possibility that Duterte might withdraw his plan to run for vice president, Roque said: “Anything is possible unless and until the certificate of candidacy (COC) is filed.”
The Commission on Elections has scheduled the filing of COC for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections from Oct. 1 to 8 this year.
On Sept. 17, Duterte signed the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) certificate of nomination.
An official candidate of political parties like PDP-Laban needs to sign a CONA because failure to submit the document will make him an independent bet.
Duterte earlier accepted his nomination as the official vice presidential candidate of the PDP-Laban to ensure the “continuity” of his efforts to bring progress to the country.