Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra stressed on Tuesday that the vice president of the Republic is not immune from suit.

“When Vice President (Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo) was included in sedition charges in 2019 in connection with alias Bikoy’s allegations, I remarked that the VP was not immune from suit under the present Constitution. My opinion on the matter has not changed,” Guevarra told reporters.

Robredo was then alleged to have played a role in an ouster plot that made use of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that linked President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to drugs.

Guevarra said that the complaint against Robredo was dismissed by the panel of prosecutors for insufficiency of evidence, not on account of immunity.

Guevarra however said that his statement was not in reaction to Duterte saying he would run for the vice presidency to avoid being prosecuted for criminal charges.

“To the extent possible, I do not comment on anyone’s political statements, as such is not part of my duties as (secretary of justice),” he said.

Duterte recently told his party mates that he would run again and again for the vice presidency to be immune from suit.

“Sabi ng batas na kung presidente ka, bise presidente ka, may immunity ka. E di tatakbo na lang ako ng bise presidente,” he said in a PDP-Laban meeting on July 17.

“And after that tatakbo uli ako ng bise presidente at bise presidente at bise presidente,” he added.

According to the Constitution, a vice president is only eligible for reelection once.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte’s statements were made to “provoke jurisprudence.”

The 76-year-old president has said that he was already tired of the presidency, but as of late has been expressing his openness to seek the vice president. John Ezekiel J. Hirro