Gordon: Duterte's reported bid for VP might encourage political dynasties

Published August 24, 2021, 3:41 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

President Duterte could set an example for Filipino politicians in dynasties to continue their practice if he pursues his bid for vice presidency.

Senator Richard Gordon addresses members of the media in an online briefing on August 24, 2021. (MANILA BULLETIN Screencapture)

Senator Richard Gordon raised this possibility Tuesday, August 24, following a statement that Duterte has accepted the endorsement of his party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), for him to run for vice president in the 2022 elections.

While maintaining that it is up to the President and the electorate, Gordon said he personally will not do it “out of delicadeza”.

“Ang daming nagyayaring [gan]yan, eh. Kaya angal tayo nang angal sa dynasty mamaya, makikita mo, ‘yong mayor, magpapalit sila [ng] vice mayor (This has happened many times. We complain against political dynasty but you see a mayor trading places with the vice mayor),” the senator told reporters in an online briefing.

“Hindi ko sinasabing mali ‘yon (I’m not saying that is wrong), but it’s up to the people whether to accept that kind of behavior. And if the President is doing that, he will be followed by many others in the country…’Eh ginagawa ng Presidente bakit ako hindi pwede (If the President is doing it, why can’t I)?'” he pointed out.

“If the President runs for vice president, certainly it will be up to the people to accept that,” Gordon said.

The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday announced that Duterte has accepted their endorsement for him to run for vice president.

It was a “sacrifice”, the party said in its statement.

The group is also pushing Senator Christopher “Bong” Go to run as Duterte’s running mate, but critics, including Cusi’s rival group in the PDP-Laban, speculated that the tandem was only made up to later pave the way for a Duterte-Duterte tandem, endorsing the presidential bid of Davao City mayor and Hugpong ng Pagbabago head Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Gordon shared the interpretation of the Constitution that a sitting president cannot run for reelection in any elective position, although he said that anyone can seek the Supreme Court to clarify this.

He surmised that Duterte was finding it hard to let go of his seat in government.

“I was gonna answer you, ‘Do you feel the need for the President to run for vice president?’ No. I think one of the most difficult things for a President is to get off the horse and that’s why President Marcos was unhorsed eventually,” he recalled.

Gordon himself is considering running for president but has yet to decide whether or not to push through.