President Rodrigo Duterte is considering a run for senator in the 2022 elections, according to the Palace.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said this Friday in a press briefing, adding that allies are prodding the Chief Executive to run for a seat in the upper chamber and are just waiting for the decision.
Roque reiterated the earlier pronouncement of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, who is gunning for Vice President in the May elections now, that Duterte is planning to run for the Senate.
“As Sen. Bong Go has said, he is considering it,” Roque said.
“The President has not ruled out the possibility of seeking a senatorial seat in next year’s elections,” Go said, even if Duterte himself said last October 2 he has decided to retire from politics.
The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi first drafted Duterte as the ruling party’s candidate for vice president in the May polls next year.
However, Duterte backed out and instead let Go take his place and file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president.
Meanwhile, conceding that changes might still occur in PDP-Laban’s roster of candidates for next year’s elections, Sen. Go maintained that he remains decided to run for vice president.
If there will be no changes after the November 15 deadline for the substitution of candidates, Go said Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa will still be the standard bearer of the PDP-Laban Cusi faction.
“If there will be changes someday, we will know it by November 15,” said Go, amid speculations that he or Dela Rosa could be replaced by other candidates.
While Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has been firm in her stand not to run for president, many are still hoping the President’s daughter will have a change of heart and vie for the presidency instead of pushing her re-election bid.
Also, Filipinos should brace for a “Singapore-like” progress if Dela Rosa will win the presidency, as he vowed to continue the programs of President Duterte.
“We might even be better than Singapore after six years,” said Dela Rosa, standard bearer of the Cusi PDP-Laban faction.
“Filipino people will surely feel the positive impact and complete benefits of the programs of President Rodrigo Duterte if his term of office is succeeded by the ‘Bato’ administration,” assured Dela Rosa.
The name of the presidential daughter is also being floated as a possible running mate of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos in case he will replace Dela Rosa.
But Go gave the assurance that he is 100 percent a candidate for vice president.
“First, I filed my COC for the position last October 2 and that was a party decision. That was also a decision of President (Rodrigo) Duterte that there should be a candidate from the two of us,” related Go.
The senator said he accepted the challenge to be the ruling party’s vice-presidential candidate for 2022 after the President announced his intention to retire from politics.
“I accepted the challenge at tuluy-tuloy na po ito hanggang sa huling araw ng eleksyon,” said Go, who said he will not waste any opportunity to serve fellow Filipinos in need and that he will be a “working vice president” and not a spare tire if elected by the Filipino people.
But still, he said he would support the party’s decision in fielding candidates for the election.
“As of now, we are a party. Our party’s presidential candidate is Bato. So, we have to follow the decision… sa aming partido na PDP-Laban,” said Go.
Dela vowed to continue the programs and policies of the current administration if he wins the presidency.
He said that a six-year term is not enough to fully implement the Duterte administration’s programs, citing the process of how Singapore turned into a developed country.
“Six years is not enough. Lee Kwan Yew said Singapore changed during his lifetime. He dedicated a lifetime to transform Singapore into what it is right now. So, I think, another six years, we will feel the huge impact of reforms,” said the Mindanaoan senator.
But the former police chief stressed if presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio will have a change of heart and decides to run for president, he is willing to give way.
“Whether or not it’s Inday Sara or Bato, as long as it is attuned to the Duterte style of leadership, the iron fist in management and no-nonsense approach in our government and not scared of oligarchs… Let us just follow the law and do your responsibilities, your obligations to our country,” Dela Rosa said.
According to Dela Rosa, he is presenting himself as the next leader of the land to continue the administration’s programs.
“We are offering ourselves. If you have liked the Duterte Administration, then under the Bato Administration, the Philippines would be much better,” he said.