Duterte's VP run depends on 'message from God,' Roque says

Published May 31, 2021, 3:12 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte may run for vice president in next year’s elections if this will supposedly be the Lord’s will.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President would make the announcement about any next political move if he gets a “message from God.”

“A message from God because he has left it to God,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a televised press briefing Monday, May 31, when asked what will make Duterte run for vice president in the 2022 elections.

On how the President will know the Lord’s message, Roque: “Well I guess if the President thinks it is God’s will, he will make the proper announcement in due course.”

The Palace recently announced the President will leave it to God on whether or not he will run for vice president in next year’s elections. Duterte will end his six-year term in June 2022. The President is not eligible for reelection under the Constitution but can seek another elected post.

“Well, he’s leaving it to God, that’s his answer,” Roque said during a media briefing last week when pressed about Duterte’s possible vice-presidential run.

The President’s political fate has been a subject of speculation ahead of the national assembly of the ruling PDP-Laban party Monday. The controversial party assembly has reportedly been authorized by the President.

The Palace came out with the President’s stance on the PDP-Laban meeting amid a reported growing feud among some party leaders on the possible candidates for the presidential and vice presidential polls.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, vice chair, earlier called for the party meeting to discuss support for the administration’s programs in Duterte’s final year in office. Senator Manny Pacquiao, party president, however issued a memorandum discouraging members to attend the assembly which was not supposedly sanctioned under rules of the party.

On Sunday, May 30, the Palace announced that the President has actually directed Cusi to “organize, convene, and preside” over the council meeting on Monday. “This move, which is part of the democratic exercise, aims to consult party members and have fruitful and productive exchanges on issues affecting PDP-Laban,” Roque said.

Duterte, who serves the party chairman, is not expected to attend the event due to his hectic schedule, that includes a meeting with several government officials on pandemic response, Roque said.

A message from the President however is expected to be delivered virtually during the meeting.