No constitutional ban for Duterte to run for VP post in 2022 polls — Sec. Guevarra

Published July 9, 2021, 3:46 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Department of Justice

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Friday, July 9, said the Constitution does not prohibit President Duterte from running for the post of vice president in the 2022 elections.

“From a strictly legal point of view, the Constitution does not prohibit an incumbent elected President from running for vice president in a subsequent election,” Guevarra told journalists covering the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution provides that the President shall not be eligible for any reelection. Reelection means election to exactly the same office,” he said.

“If the framers of the Constitution intended to make the sitting President ineligible to assume the presidency again by succession after his six-year term has expired, it would have been quite easy for them to expressly say so in the Constitution,” he added.

Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution states:

“The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter.

“The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.

“No Vice-President shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term for which he was elected.”

During a meeting with PDP-Laban party and other government officials this week, Duterte reiterated his openness to the idea of running as Vice President.

“But let me dwell on the reality of things: If I run for vice president tapos ang presidenteng na-elect hindi ko kaibigan (and the elected president is not my friend), the situation would arise [that] I would remain an inutile thing there,” Duterte said.

“Pero, somehow, kung nandyan ako (But, somehow, if I’m there), I will find a way to be productive and just see to it that Filipinos are not pushed to the wall,” he added.