Lagman: Running for VP spills DU30’s intent

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman does not buy President Duterte’s latest alibi for running for vice president in the 2022 national election, that is, to be immune from lawsuits.


“President Duterte fully knows that only the president is immune from lawsuits,” Lagman said in a news release.


According to Lagman, “Duterte’s statement on running for vice president to enjoy “immunity” spills the beans on his real intention to become successor-president the moment the office of the elected president in 2022 is vacated by design or fortuitous event.”


Lagman also emphasized that the President’s immunity from lawsuits is “not by constitutional mandate” and “is solely from the domestic or national judicial jurisdiction.”


Being part of the International Criminal Court (ICC) waived any “immunity” even for the President, Lagman said, adding: it was only in 2019 that the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC. This means the Philippines as a member state “acceded to the jurisdiction of the ICC for covered offenses like crimes against humanity, which were committed before the [2019] withdrawal.”


Moreover, Lagman said that “Any pretense of presidential immunity from the ICC’s jurisdiction is weak because such invocation of immunity makes the principle of complementarity unavailable.”


“In complementarity where a domestic court has taken prior jurisdiction, the ICC defers to national criminal jurisdiction, in warranted cases, to prevent overlapping and in deference to the national forum,” the news release read.


“This will not happen in favor of Duterte because no domestic court has jurisdiction over him during his incumbency for complementarity to apply,” Lagman said.