MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte still has until October this year to decide on his possible vice presidential bid in the 2022 national elections, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement, as he admitted that it is still unclear whether Duterte will listen to the public’s clamour for him to seek the vice presidency next year.
“So, hintayin na lang po natin (Let’s just wait). At this point, we cannot definitely say that he (Duterte) will or will not run. And that’s his right because he still has until October to decide,” Roque said in a virtual presser.
In a speech delivered at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, Duterte acknowledged that a “lot of people” are pushing him to run for vice president, but said his decision will depend on the decision of the House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez.
Duterte said he would be ready to support Romualdez, in case the lawmaker decides to gun for the vice presidency in 2022.
He, however, admitted that he has yet to fulfill all his campaign promises, such as the improvement of the country’s infrastructure and the eradication of illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in government.
Duterte’s “unfinished task,” Roque said, might convince him to run for vice president.
“I do acknowledge though that because of his mention of unfinished business, eh that probably is basis for concluding that he is considering still a run for vice president,” he said.
Roque, however, said there is still a possibility that Duterte might decide not to run for vice president, considering the Chief Executive’s remarks that vice presidency is just “nothing.”
“‘Yung kaniyang naunang deklarasyon naman (His declaration that), ‘Wala iyan eh ([Vice presidency] is just nothing). It’s just a flower there until the other wilt,’ also indicates na (that) you can also construe it as the President having decided not to run,” he said.
For now, what the public can do about Duterte’s possible vice presidential run is just “make [their] own conclusions,” Roque said.
Duterte’s ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, adopted on May 31 a resolution urging him to join the vice presidential race and choose the party’s standard bearer in the 2022 national elections.
In an interview with SMNI’s “Exclusive” aired on June 8, Duterte said he is reluctant to run for vice president as he is “ready” to retire as the country’s chief executive and return to his hometown, Davao City, after his term ends in June next year.
On June 9, or a day after Duterte’s admission, Roque said the President might change his mind depending on “different scenarios.”
The filing of certificates of candidacy for all elective positions for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections is set from October 1 to 8 this year. (PNA)
June 17, 2021, PNA