VP Leni Robredo as invited guest speaker at the 2nd Asia Pacific Youth Exchange in South Korea on Aug. 13, 2018.

It does not require a rocket scientist to figure out why Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is setting weird and illegal prerequisites to his oft-repeated and self-announced resignation from the presidency.

Aside from naming his desired successor who is not in the line of presidential succession, he also mentions the formation of a military junta to succeed him!

One problem with this president is, it seems he thinks he is above the law.

Mr. Duterte, in direct contravention of his country’s Constitution, prefers a political ally to take over in the event he steps down because of potentially illegal decisions made during his presidency, like the widely-condemned extrajudicial killings of thousands of suspected drug users as part of his bloody and cruel anti-drug campaign.

In fact, a case is now pending with the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity versus the PH president.

His open arms policy on China, which, virtually gave away parts of Philippine territory to a communist country, despite a decision by the Permanent Arbitration Court to the contrary, could also be a violation of his country’s fundamental law.

Mr. Duterte cited former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, a Duterte supporter who was defeated by Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 elections for vice president, as his preferred successor.

(Vice President Robredo is head of the opposition’s Liberal Party.)

Under the PH Constitution, the vice president takes over the presidency when the president dies, suffers from permanent disability or inability to perform his functions (like resignation).

In conclusion, we repeat our observation that Mr. Duterte seems to think he is above the law.

He is not.

He should just follow the Constitution.

As one social media commenter wrote, “Mag-resign na kung mag-reresign. Ang dami pang drama, eh.”


VP Robredo reviewing the colors with cadets at the Philippine Military Academy.  (File photo)