By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo is ready to take the place of President Rodrigo Duterte anytime in case he becomes indisposed, her spokesperson said on Tuesday.
“So noong tinanggap pa lang ni dating Congresswoman Leni Robredo ang hamon na tumakbo bilang Bise Presidente, kasama na doon iyong pagpapahayag niya ng kaniyang kahandaan. At lalo na ngayon, dalawang taon na siyang Bise Presidente,” Vice presidential spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said.
(So when then-Congresswoman Leni Robredo accepted the challenge to run as Vice President, part of that was her readiness. And especially now, she has been the Vice President for two years.)
“Klarong klaro sa kaniya kung ano ang kaniyang trabaho. Klarong klaro sa kaniya kung ano ang sinumpaan niya sa ilalim ng Konstitusyon. So walang duda, handa si VP Leni kung anuman ang mangyari,” he added.
(It is very clear to her what is her work. It is very clear on the oath she had taken under the Constitution. So no doubt, VP Leni is ready if something happens.)
The Robredo made the assurance a day after rumors circulated that the Chief Executive entered into a coma, which was publicly claimed by communist leader Jose Maria Sison.
Duterte already addressed this by appearing in a Facebook live video, showing the state of his health to the public.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Vice President is on standby to take over the presidency if the need arises.
Article VII Section 8 of the Constitution says that the Vice President shall serve the remaining days of a President’s term “in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation.”
Gutierrez, a former Akbayan representative, said the public must be informed about Duterte’s health condition to dispel claims of his illness.
“Sa dulo naman, ang kailangan sigurong mag-comment iyong Malacañang. Ang pagkakaintindi ko, sa Konstitusyon, sila ang required na i-inform ang publiko kung ano ba talaga iyong state ng health ng Presidente,” he said.
(At the end, it is Malacañang that should comment. I understand, in the Constitution, they are required to inform the public about the real state of President’s health.)
“Ngayon may mga lumalabas nang bali-balita. Siyempre hindi namin papakinggan iyan. Hihintayin namin iyong pahayag ng Palasyo, gaya ng required silang gawin sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon,”he added.
(There are reports that coming out right now. Of course, we won’t listen to that. We would wait for the statement from the Palace like they are required under the Constitution.)