'May the best man win:' Duterte welcomes candidates in 2019 polls

By Genalyn Kabiling

May the best man win in the 2019 midterm elections, President Duterte declared Friday after aspirants started to file their certificates of candidacies (COCs) for the 2019 midterm elections.

(PCOO/ Facebook) (PCOO/ Facebook)

The President has welcomed that more people were running for political office since it would give voters more choices in the upcoming polls.

"The more the better. Let the --- at least there’s a wider choice for the people. Let the best man win," Duterte said during a press conference in Malacañang.

The Commission on Elections has started to accepted COCs for the 2019 elections from aspiring national and local candidates last Thursday. The period of filing of COCs will end on October 17.

The President earlier bared that six Cabinet members would likely resign and run for positions in the 2019 elections.

Among the poll aspirants are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, Special Assistant to President Christopher Go, and Technical Education Skills and Development Authority chief Guiling Mamondiong.

Duterte said he has asked Teodoro Locsin Jr., the country's permanent representative to the United Nations, to become the next Foreign Affairs Secretary. Locsin, a lawyer and a former lawmaker, has reportedly accepted the President's Cabinet offer.

Duterte has also assigned Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo as his spokesperson. He still wanted to talk to Roque to get his final decision on whether to stay in government or pursue his Senate bid.

Duterte admitted that he was still looking for replacements for other Cabinet members planning to run in next year's election

"Naghahanap ako. But you know my choices. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do na I want to ingratiate myself to the military. I don’t need that. I was elected by the people, not by the military," he said.