Duterte: Consider me a candidate for VP at this time

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte | Malacañang photo by Karl Norman Alonzo

WILL Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte run for vice president in the 2020 elections?

During the inauguration of the LRT Line 2 East Extension Project, the Chief Executive told Filipinos they may “consider” him “a candidate” for the country’s second-highest office.

“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 Thursday, July 1.

However, he maintained that would only run if “there is space,” reiterating his promise to support House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez if he decides to run for vice president.

“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.

He also admitted that his potential bid for the vice presidency was “political posturing.”

“Pang ano lang ‘yun sa pulitika, leverage. You would know what is a lameduck. Kaya ikaw, hindi ka talaga papayag na maging shit ka rin (That’s just for politics, leverage. You would know what is a lameduck. That’s why you shouldn’t let them treat you like shit),” said Duterte.

“That’s political posturing so they will not treat you badly kasi paalis na ako (because I’m on my way out),” he added.

In May, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) national council adopted a resolution urging Duterte to run for the country’s second-highest office in the 2022 elections.

Adopted during a National Council Assembly in Cebu City, the resolution also urged Duterte to name his running mate for president in next year’s race.

The national council received petitions and resolutions from various regions, local government units, and chapters of the party calling for Duterte to run for the vice presidency, according to PDP-Laban Vice President for External Affairs and Secretary Raul Lambino.

“The text of this resolution read as follows: ‘Resolution to convince the party chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte, to run as Vice President in the 2022 national elections and for President Rodrigo Duterte to choose his running mate for president in the 2022 national elections,’” Lambino said on May 31.

On June 8, Duterte said he is “resisting” calls led by the PDP-Laban urging him to run for vice president.

“That is difficult…because I am retiring. Then, this time, I will choose the president. When I win, they will say what I am doing is perpetuate [myself] in power, so I resist,” he said partially in Filipino during a televised interview with SMNI News. n

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