President Duterte urged Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to consider running for senator in the 2022 elections, citing his accomplishments and expertise in leading the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Duterte made the statement after Tugade enumerated during his pre-recorded public address the achievements of the DOTr over the past five years.
In his remarks, President Duterte praised Tugade for being one of the government’s top performers.
“I cannot express in words the appreciation of this government of your talent and expertise in running your department. You are one of the top performers,” he said.
According to Duterte, it would be unfortunate for the government once Tugade steps down from his post after June 2022.
“Sayang ang gobyernong ito pag nawala ka, sa totoo lang (This government would be a waste with you not around, that’s the truth),” he said.
“Tignan mo nagawa ni Secretary Tugade (Look at what Secretary Tugade has achieved). More than the achievements of the past administrations, three administrations combined… If one really puts their heart to it, talagang kayang gawin (they can really do it),” he added.
The President said the country “badly needs” someone like Tugade who supposedly finishes projects that usually end up in corruption.
“I hope you complete your project. I hope you consider running for Senator of the Republic of the Philippines,” Duterte said.
In response, Tugade said he was “happy and humbled” by the President’s generous remarks, to which Duterte replied that he was speaking from his heart.
“My comments come from the heart. You know me. I do not go for pretensions. Talagang mahusay ka (You really are god),” President Duterte said.
“Hindi ako nagkamali. Mahusay ka kaya kinuha kita (I was not wrong. You are good, that’s why I recruited you). So it bore fruit. Ngayon, nakikita ko na na (Now, I can see that) I made the right decision.
President Duterte has yet to reveal his senatorial candidates for the 2022 elections.