President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night declared that he would run for vice president in Eleksyon 2022.

“Gusto talaga ninyo? Oh, sige, tatakbo ako ng bise presidente. Then I will continue the crusade. I’m worried about the drugs, insurgency, and criminality,” Duterte said in his weekly public address.

“I may not have the power to give direction or guidance but I can always express my views in public for whatever it may be worth in the coming days,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Duterte agreed to run for vice president “[a]fter being presented with popular calls from PDP Laban regional, provincial, and down to barangay councils aspiring for a transition of leadership that will guarantee continuity of the administration’s programs during the past five years.”

Duterte had said he would run for vice president if his critics continue to threaten him with criminal charges once his term ends on June 30, 2022.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier warned that once Duterte was no longer president, he could face charges over drug war killings, if not “tolerance” of Chinese incursions within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in West Philippine Sea.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had maintained his position that a sitting vice president has no immunity from suit.

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia also previously said “A vice president has no immunity from suit. That is rewriting the Constitution, the law and even jurisprudence.”

Integrated Bar of the Philippines immediate past president Atty. Domingo Cayosa had said an outgoing president’s possible election as vice president may be questioned before the Supreme Court but there are limitations to do this.

Cayosa previously mentioned that there is no explicit provision in the 1987 Constitution that bars the president from running as vice president.

Section 4, Article 7 of the Constitution says: “The President shall not be eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.”

Cayosa had said his could be challenged before the SC but there should be an “actual controversy” to do so.-NB/LDF, GMA News