The 1987 Constitution states that in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the president, the vice president shall become the president to serve the unexpired term.
Office of the Vice President
Follow Constitution, VP camp says on Duterte's succession remark
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - August 15, 2018 - 12:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo clapped back at President Rodrigo Duterte for once again expressing doubts about her competence to lead the country.

This, after the chief executive floated the scenario of him stepping down from his post or being ousted by the military.

“I am hesitant to suggest a constitutional succession. I have nothing against Robredo. She’s a lawyer. You have heard her talk. But I do not think she can improve on anything here,” Duterte, who is sworn to uphlod the Constitution, said Tuesday. He claimed that the vice president’s bailiwick, Naga City, has been a “hotbed of shabu.”

He added he prefers a junta — a council or committee, sometimes composed of the military — to lead the country.

In 2017, Duterte floated and then eventually abandoned the idea of declaring the creation of a "revolutionary government" where all positions in government would be considered vacant. 

The supposed plan prompted criticism from opposition and activist groups who raised concerns that it would lead to the expansion of martial law or to one-man rule.

The president later clarified that he would only set up a revolutionary government if “things go out of control” and the government is in danger of being overthrown violently.

RELATED: Supporters, counterprotesters cross paths as Duterte toys with revolutionary gov't

Robredo spokesman: What competence?

Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson and a former Akbayan lawmaker, in response, turned the tables and questioned the competence of former and current officials of the Duterte administration.

“The ‘competent’ people according to the president: [former] Tourism secretary who did nothing but engage in corruption, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council head who disappeared when there is flooding [and] National Food Authority chief whose rice supply has been depleted,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Gutierrez added: “He can keep the endorsement to himself, let’s just follow the Constitution.”

In a tweet, Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo party-list) also said that Robredo is the rightful successor to the presidency “regardless of the competence and opinion of Duterte.”

The 1987 Constitution states that in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office or resignation of the president, the vice president shall become the president and serve the unexpired term.

Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now speaker of the House, became president in 2001 when President Joseph Estrada was considered to have resigned from office after days of protests.

This is not the first time that President Duterte has hinted at leaving office — he has said it to promote the push for federalism and the passage of what is now known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law — nor is it the first time that he has cast doubt on the vice president's competence.

"I will not resign because it will make her president," Duterte said in July, citing her supposed incompetence.

READDuterte should improve own performance, Robredo camp says of 'incompetent' remark

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