Three years before the next national elections, President Rodrigo Duterte has floated the idea that his successor will come from Bicol.
In his meeting with the region’s officials Thursday night, Duterte said the next chief executive could be Albay’s Second District Rep. Joey Salceda or former Senator and now Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero.
“So the next President will come from Bicol. You have a choice of Salceda and Chiz Escudero,” President Duterte said.
Escudero and Salceda were among the officials present at the post-typhoon damage-assessment meeting in Albay.
Salceda, a Duterte ally, laughed at the President’s comment.
“Ha ha ha. Actually, he gave me a huge assignment, that’s why he made that statement,” Salceda posted on his Facebook page.
Duterte has previously said he will not endorse a presidential candidate for the 2022 elections as he has discouraged Vice President Leni Robredo, who also hails from Bicol, from running for the top government post, citing her “incompetence.”
He even said the country would face a disaster if Robredo became the next President.
Duterte appointed Robredo as anti-drug czar only to fire her after 19 days.
He has also told his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, not to run for President.
“I know what it’s like to be President. Don’t believe the clamor of the people because when the water gets rough, you find you’re the only one sailing the lonely sea,” Duterte said in an interview last month.
Sara has neither confirmed nor denied any plans to seek the presidency in 2022, adding her decision would depend on the circumstances.