Malacañang said that President Duterte, being in the position himself, can say if a person has what it takes to become the next president of the Philippines.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Vice President Leni Robredo, in response to Duterte, said that it was not up to the Chief Executive to say if she was qualified to run for president or not.
In a short interview over State-run PTV-4, Roque affirmed Robredo’s statement but said Duterte knows what he is talking about.
“Tama po ‘yan. ‘Yan ay desisyon ng taumbayan (She’s right. It’s up to the people to decide),” he said.
“Pero kabahagi po ng taumbayan ay ang Presidente dahil siya ay boboto rin (But the President is part of the public because he is will vote also),” he added.
The Palace official also said that President Duterte knows if a person has what it takes to become president since he is holding the position himself.
“Dahil siya ay naging presidente, alam niya yung mga kakayahan na kinakailanagn para maging presidente (Because he has become a president himself, he knows if a person is qualified to become one),” Roque said.
“Ang kanyang naging assessment na sumatutal hindi po angkop na maging presidente ang ating Bise Presidente (His overall assessment is our Vice President is not qualified to become president),” he added.
On Monday, President Duterte said Vice President Robredo was not qualified to be his successor because she does not know her role in the government.
Duterte’s remarks came after Robredo described as “extortion” his remarks on February 12, when he told the United States to “pay” if they want the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to continue.
According to the President, he is worried that Robredo may actually become president, but if it does happen, he advised her to study more.