By: Elena Grace Flores
The 1987 Constitution dictates that no specific duties for the vice president other than taking over the president’s term “in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation.” So, it is not illegal for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to give Bongbong Marcos important cabinet tasks rather than to the sworn in Vice President, Leni Robredo.
However, Leni Robredo can even use her term for six years to campaign for the presidency if that’s what she’s up to – but this could be difficult since she won’t be gaining mileage if she cannot show excellent performance in crucial avenues. Almost all past presidents have assigned important posts to their vice presidents even if they belong to opposing political parties. However at the rate that it is now going with Duterte’s respect towards the Marcoses’ Leni Robredo can end up to be the ultimate spare tyre for the president.
However, she can be smart about it. Take the case of President Fidel V. Ramos’ administration, then-vice president Joseph “Erap” Estrada used his role as head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission—tasked to go after crime syndicates that enhanced his reputation as a crime buster. Whereas Diosdado Macapagal was, the only other vice president to be excluded from the Cabinet. Macapagal spent his term under Carlos P. Garcia traveling the country, exposing himself to the electorate—thus beating Garcia in the next presidential election.