Malacañang on Wednesday admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte is worried that Vice President Leni Robredo may actually become president.
During his regular Monday public address, President Duterte said Robredo was not qualified to be his successor because she does not know her role in the government.
However, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that if it does happen and Robredo becomes the president, she should first study more.
Roque made the statement in reaction to Leni’s comment that it is not up to the President to say if she is qualified to run for president or not.
Roque also said the Vice President is right “that it’s up to the public to decide who would be the president.”
“But the President is part of the public because he will also vote. Duterte knows what he is talking about," he said.
The Palace official also said that President Duterte knows if a person has what it takes to become president since he is holding the position himself.
Roque said Duterte still prefers former senator Ferdinand Marcos to Robredo in terms of leadership skills, a day after the Supreme Court threw out Marcos’s election protest against Robredo.
In 2018, Duterte said he would resign if Marcos won the electoral protest and became vice president, enabling the former senator to take the top job under constitutional succession rules.
Duterte's election in 2016 was a boost to the Marcos family as the government gave the ex-president's remains a hero's burial and publicly floated the idea of winding down the hunt for his hidden wealth.
In a public address delivered Monday night, Duterte slammed Robredo for criticizing his decision to demand compensation from the United States (US) for him to reconsider his decision to revoke the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Duterte advised Robredo to take a “refresher course” in law and believed she was unfit to be his successor.