Will Duterte push through with VP bid?
Opinions are split on whether or not the president is permitted under the 1987 Constitution to later seek the vice presidency — something not yet done before.
Article 7, Section 4 of the Constitution states “The President shall not be eligible for any reelection.” Others argue that while the text does not expressly prohibit Duterte from gunning for the second highest office, it violates “the spirit of the Constitution” since a vice president can become president if the incumbent dies, resigns or is removed from office.
“If we’re talking about the spirit of the Constitution, being the vice president is a heartbeat away from the presidency, and I do agree that there will be a step down later on. That is my belief, that the President will not go for it as well,” German said.
Go-Duterte or Duterte-Duterte tandem?
The experts also suspect talks of a team-up between Duterte and his former-aide-turned-senator Bong Go will not materialize.
Critics and analysts alike have said this pairing being pushed for by the ruling party is simply a “smokescreen” — that the senator will eventually give way for a presidential bid of Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, a frontrunner in most election surveys.
Go, for his part, has declined the endorsement to be a presidential candidate, saying he remains focused on his role as a lawmaker.
There’s also “no sense” in such a tandem, Garcia said, noting the senator’s current numbers show a victory would be elusive.
“It just doesn’t make sense because there are numbers… So, I think they know reality and they will balance it well, and they will know what to do,” he said, adding it could be nothing but a case of pre-election “posturing.”
An alliance between Duterte and his daughter Sara, meanwhile, also doesn’t seem promising, according to political strategist Lito Banayo.
What may have worked in Davao City couldn’t simply be applied on a national scale, and this is something both are likely aware of, he added.
“I think it’s pretty clear. She knows it won’t fly,” he said, referring to Sara. “People will reject something like that, and I think the President is quite savvy politically also to know that that won’t fly.”
Garcia and German echoed the sentiment, saying the two highest government posts ending up in the hands of family members would spell danger in the minds of Filipinos.
“The father-daughter tandem won’t sit well with the Filipino voters,” German said. “That can be measured naman eh, and I’m sure that their numbers will validate the fact that hindi katanggap-tanggap sa Pilipino na father-daughter ang tumakbo nang sabay [that Filipinos don’t find it acceptable for a father and daughter to run at the same time].”