Press Release
July 19, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,001:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on Duterte's VP run

You can trust Duterte never to take the Constitution or the law into consideration.

The intent of the Constitution in banning presidents from re-election is basically to serve as a proscription against any person from occupying the presidency again after already being elected to said office. But of course, since the Constitution did not spell out that any other manner of assuming the presidency other than via re-election is also proscribed, Duterte takes this as a license for becoming the president again via the vice presidency.

Not that Duterte cares that there is a Constitution and that he must follow it. But sometimes it helps that the Constitution does not spell out explicitly that what he is doing is illegal and prohibited. It gives him room to pretend that he gives a damn about the Constitution and the law.

In the absence of such constitutional "loophole", will Duterte even care? Of course not. He already violated and continues to violate with abandon the very first law from which all other laws emanate: Thou shall not kill. You violate that first law of civilization and humanity, there is no other law that you would not think of violating.

So this is why Duterte thinks of running for Vice President, even when all his predecessors, even PGMA, did not even as much as entertain the idea. Because his predecessors knew this is a basic violation of the Constitution, albeit not in its black letter, but its very spirit.

Duterte knows this too, but he simply does not care. He always holds himself beyond the law and the Constitution. There is no reason why he would change that, especially when every law ever enacted is about to be used against him once he leaves Malacañang.

And then, there is also the ICC. The ICC does not care about presidents, much less vice presidents, in issuing a warrant of arrest. So, in the long run, Duterte's VP run does not matter. The only real running he will do, sooner or later, is away from the arrest warrant of the ICC.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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