Malacañang stood firm with President Duterte's remarks that he does not want to run for Vice President in next year's polls but pointed out that the Chief Executive did not say he will not run.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the President said in an interview that he would "resist" calls to run in the 2022 elections since he intends to retire from public service.
In his press briefing on Thursday, June 10, Roque said he will not add to what the President said.
"The President's words are clear, I don't have to construe or interpret. He is resisting, that is the word used," he said.
He, however, hinted that there may still be a chance.
"Ayaw po niya, pero hindi pa naman niya sinasabing hindi (He doesn't want to, but he didn't say he won't run)," Roque said.
Duterte’s term will end in June 2022 and he is not eligible for reelection. His party, PDP-Laban, however, recently passed a resolution asking him to run for vice president in next year’s elections and choose the party’s standard-bearer.
In an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, President Duterte explained why he was not keen on running in 2022.
"Mahirap ‘yan pastor kasi mag-retire na ako (That’s difficult because I will retire)," he said.
"Tapos this time, ako mamili ng presidente. Pag manalo, sabihin nila ano ko lang 'yan perpetuate yourself in power so re-resist ako (Then this time, if I choose the next president, if the person wins, they will say I’m trying to perpetuate yourself in power so I will resist),” he added.
When Quiboloy pressed on the need for Duterte to serve as vice president to ensure continuity, the latter insisted he prefers to return to his home Davao City and retire.