President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is now becoming more open to seeking the vice presidency in the 2022 national elections.
In a chance interview with reporters in Antipolo City, Rizal, Duterte said the public can now consider him as a vice presidential “candidate.”
“Maybe at this time, you can say that maybe para (just) to maintain the equilibrium sa lahat (for all), consider me a candidate for the vice presidency at this time,” Duterte said when quizzed about his political plans in 2022.
Duterte, however, reiterated that he would still wait for the announcement of House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez who might also join the 2022 vice presidential race.
He said he had already told Romualdez that he is ready to support the lawmaker, in case the latter decides to seek the second top national post.
“So, if Romualdez would hang on to that commitment, sabi ko nga, if there is space lang, kung wala (As I’ve said, if there is a space only, if none [I won’t run]),” Duterte said.
Prior to his latest remarks, Duterte on Monday said it is not a “bad idea” to gun for vice president next if there is still a “space” for him.
Duterte also admitted that his previous remarks about his potential vice presidential run are part of “political posturing.”
“Posturing ‘yan, political posturing (That is political posturing) so they would not treat you badly kasi paalis na ako (since I am about to step down from office),” he said.
Duterte’s “unfinished business” during his six-year term as the country’s chief executive might persuade him to heed the public’s clamor to gun for vice president next year, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.
Duterte’s ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, adopted on May 31 a resolution calling on the President to join the vice presidential derby and choose the party’s standard-bearer in the 2022 national elections.
On June 8, Duterte was initially reluctant to seek the vice presidency, saying he is “ready” to retire as president and return to his hometown, Davao City after his term ends in June next year.