President Rodrigo Duterte is “leaving to God” his potential vice presidential bid in 2022, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement when quizzed over Duterte’s supposed intent to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.
“I think, I will quote the President, he leaves it to God,” Roque said in a virtual presser.
Roque’s remarks also came amid growing clamor for Duterte to seek the vice presidency next year.
Pressed on whether Duterte is open to running for vice president, Roque maintained: “I think you have to accept his answer for what it is. He leaves it to God.”
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday raised the possibility that a “strong” public clamor might convince Duterte to gun for vice president in 2022.
“The President would only be open [to running for vice president] if he sees a clamor for it, if the clamor is strong,” Panelo said partly in Filipino in an interview with One News Channel’s “The Chiefs” on Tuesday night.
Last year, Roque said Duterte would unlikely join the 2022 vice presidential race as the Chief Executive is “eager to finish his term and wants to come home in Davao.”
Panelo and other allies of the President are floating either the “Duterte-Duterte” or “Go-Duterte” tandem in the 2022 elections.
Duterte has been repeatedly urged to pair either with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, or his former long-time aide, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, in next year’s elections.
Sara still emerged as the top pick among the preferred presidential candidates in 2022, while Go ranked sixth, according to the February 22 to March 3 pre-election poll by Pulse Asia.
Despite this, Duterte has maintained he does not want his daughter to join the presidential derby next year because the presidency is not worth pursuing and an unsuitable job for a woman.
Duterte, otherwise, has repeatedly teased Go over its supposed plan to run for president in 2022.
On Monday, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said the opposition should only have one presidential candidate to increase its chances of winning against Duterte’s anointed standard-bearer.
Roque, responding to Robredo’s statement, taunted Tuesday the opposition to field a “thousand” candidates in the 2022 national elections. SOVEREIGNPH