Roque: Duterte's 'VP-for-immunity' remark an opportunity to test jurisprudence

Published July 19, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte’s claim that the vice president was immune from suit opens the door to provoke the country’s jurisprudence after being reminded that there was no such provision in the Constitution.

President Spokesman Harry Roque (File photo/Malacañang)

Roque made the statement after 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.

In his press briefing, Roque only had one thing to say about the President’s idea.

“Let’s just say, perhaps, this is an opportunity to provoke jurisprudence,” he said.

In a speech on Saturday, July 17, 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.

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.

Early this month, 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.

He, however, expressed his misgivings about the position, citing the absence of an official function of the vice president.

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.