Panelo is Duterte's 'favorite' senatorial bet

Published June 28, 2021, 11:09 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has endorsed Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo as a potential senatorial candidate in the 2022 elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo during a virtual meeting in Malacañang on June 28, 2021 (Malacañang)

The President heaped praises on Panelo during a televised address Monday, June 28, saying he was impressed with his good work ethic and intellect.

“Now I’m sure that Atty. Panelo, Senator Panelo or Atty. Sec Panelo pala, my favorite candidate for senator. Tatakbo ka ba? Sabihin mo na para malaman ng tao. Mukha atang tatakbo (Are you running? tell it now so people will know. It looks like you’re running),” Duterte said in introducing Panelo to present his report.

Panelo, who was attending the meeting with the President and other Cabinet members via teleconference, admitted that he was inclined to walk, not run, for senator. “Siguro lalakad na lang tayo papunta Senado para hindi tayo madapa. Lakad na lang, hindi takbo (Maybe I will walk to the Senate so I won’t fall. Walk, instead of run),” he added.

The President’s legal counsel has recently joined the Cabinet members who presented reports to the President during his public address.

In his remarks, the President cited that Panelo was strict and disciplined when it comes to work. Duterte also said he appreciated Panelo’s legal opinions on issues and concerns.

“Bilib ako sa ‘yo. Bilib ako sa utak mo (I am impressed with you, with your brain),” he said.