President Duterte said he might as well run for vice president to avoid lawsuits that may be waiting for him once he steps down from the presidency in 2022.
Duterte made the statement as he led the national assembly of ruling party PDP-Laban in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga on Saturday, July 17.
In his speech, the President took swipe at his critics former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio for “threatening” him with lawsuits after his term.
“Itong mga gagong ito (These idiots), they keep on threatening me with lawsuits and everything… Panay ang takot sa akin na mademanda ako (They keep on threatening me that I may be charged),” he said.
According to Duterte, he might as well run for vice president to get away from the possible charges that may be filed against him.
“Sabi ng batas, na kung Bise Presidente ka, may immunity ka. Eh, ‘di tatakbo na lang ako ng Bise Presidente (The law says that if you’re the Vice President, you will have immunity. I will just run then),” he said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte expressed his appreciation to the members of the party who committed to have his back in 2022.
“I am grateful for PDP-Laban’s continued trust in my leadership,” he said.
“I also deeply appreciate your commitment to support whatever my decision may be for the 2022 national elections,” he added.
Members of PDP-Laban have been urging Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 elections, citing the need for continuity of his policies, particularly his campaigns against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption.
Last week, President Duterte said he was seriously considering running for vice president but admitted this week that him floating the idea around was just a scare tactic.
Duterte has topped Pulse Asia’s recent Vice Presidential Preference Survey with 18 percent of Filipinos saying they will vote for him if he ran for the position in the 2022 polls.