There is no final word yet if President Duterte will run for vice president in the 2022 elections or opt to retire when his term ends next year.
The President can make a decision on a possible run for the vice presidency by October when aspirants are set to file their certificates of candidacy for the May 2022 polls, according to his Spokesman Harry Roque.
“At this point, we cannot definitely say that he will or will not run and that’s his right because he has until October to decide,” Roque said during a televised press briefing Thursday, June 18.
The President, in a recent speech at the Palace, admitted that a vice presidential bid was a “good idea” since he still has unfinished business, particularly in fighting the the problems of illegal drugs and corruption.
Duterte’s six-year term will end in June 2022 and is prohibited by the Constitution to seek reelection. The President’s political party, however, has passed a resolution urging him run for vice president and choose the standard bearer for the next year’s elections.
“There are a lot of people pushing me to run for vice president. It’s a good idea I think, particularly if we talk about the drug problem,” Duterte said during the ceremonial signing of laws at the Palace Wednesday, June 16.
The President, however, said he promised to support House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez if he would run for vice president. The Leyte congressman is a nephew of former First Lady Imelda Marcos. “‘Pag tumakbo si Romualdez, wala ako. ‘Pag hindi tumakbo si Romualdez, wala rin ako siguro (If Romualdez runs, I am out. If he does not run, I am maybe out too),” Duterte said.
Previously, Duterte claimed he “resisted” calls to run for vice president, insisting he was keen on returning to his hometown in Davao City to retire when his term of office ends.
With the President’s latest comments about the vice presidency being a good idea, Roque admitted that there was no firm decision yet on whether or not Duterte will pursue a vice presidential run.
“Does this mean that the idea of President Duterte to run for [vice] president is already out of the picture? Well, on the basis of his actual words, I guess you can conclude either way,” Roque said.
“You can make your own conclusions, either way, there is textual basis,” he added.