Duterte reserves slot for Willie Revillame in Senate slate

Published June 14, 2021, 12:35 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is trying to convince television host Willie Revillame to run for senator in next year’s elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

The President has offered Revillame a slot in his senatorial slate for the 2022 polls, saying it will stay “open until the last minute” after Revillame reportedly appeared reluctant to run for public office.

“Matagal na tayong hindi nagkita pero palagi kitang naaalala dahil gusto ko sanang maging senador ka (We haven’t seen each other for a long time but I always think of you because I want you to become a senator),” Duterte said in a video message to the “Wowowin” program host posted on GMA-7 website.

“Sabi ni (Senator) Bong (Go) medyo nagdadalawang-isip pero ganunpaman, open ang slot until the last minute. Kung ayaw mo na talaga, eh di puwede tayong mag-usap uli (Bong said you’re having second thoughts but the slot is open until the last minute. If you don’t want to run, we can talk again),’ he said.

The President also wished Revillame more success in his television program as he praised the host for his populist appeal. The television host is known for giving away cash prizes to the public.

“Bilib ako sa appeal mo sa masa (I am impressed with your mass appeal)” he told the tv host.

A day after the President’s expression of support for Revillame, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that the television host has been invited to join the administration’s senatorial slate for next year’s elections.

“Kinukumpirma ko po iyan at doon sa video na nakita ko rin, hindi lang siya naimbitang senador, bandang huli ng video sinabi rin niya na dapat maging Presidente ka (I confirm that and in the video I saw, he not only invited him to run for senator, at the end of the year, he mentioned that he should also become president),” Roque said over GMA’s Unang Hirit Monday, June 14.

Apart from Revillame, the President recently urged Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to run for senator next year. Bello had said he would still study the President’s proposed Senate run.

In the 2019 elections, Duterte endorsed several senatorial candidates, most of them emerged victorious.