‘Let people decide their fate,’ says Panelo, as he bats for Duterte-Duterte tandem

Published March 27, 2021, 1:39 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

While Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has strongly endorsed a possible Duterte-Duterte tandem in next year’s polls, he concedes that the will of the people will ultimately prevail.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Ultimately, we let the sovereign Filipino people decide their own fate. After all, the Presidency is a matter of destiny,” Panelo said in a statement Friday.

Panelo made the pronouncement after branding as false an online post attributed to him that a possible Duterte-Duterte or Go-Duterte tandem would not need the vote of Luzon to win in the elections.

The Palace official earlier floated the idea of President Duterte running as vice president while his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio throws her hat into the presidential race. An alternative presidential ticket, Panelo suggested, was President Duterte possibly becoming the running mate of his former assistant Senator Christopher Go.

The quote card described as false by Panelo read: “No need na iboto ng mga tiga-Luzon ang Duterte-Duterte o kaya Go-Duterte tandem. I am willing to bet my one year salary that the next President and Vice-President of the Philippines will both come from Mindanao. If ever I will run as a senator for sure, I will come out as number 1 with Roque and Doque coming in as 2 and 3 respectively.” 

Panelo strongly denied uttering such remarks, citing his respect for the country’s electoral system.

“This representation respects the sanctity of our sovereign electoral process and would never issue statements that may tend to make a mockery of the same, more so rob it of its dignity by subjecting its results to a bet,” he said. 

On his supposed senatorial ambition, Panelo insisted that he never said he would run for a Senate seat. “Moreover, such a pompous and self-serving statement is out of character,” he said.

He said the attempt of the “fakers” behind the quote card was an admission he was effective in dispelling the “false narratives” allegedly being peddled by the President’s political rivals and other critics.

“While the meme is ostensibly a mockery of the suggestion humbly added by this representation in the melting pot of ideas, it bears noting that jokes are half meant. Therefore, on a subconscious level, the meme is also an admission of truth that a Duterte-Duterte or Go-Duterte tandem would be unstoppable,” he said.