President Duterte says he is “getting convinced” by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo’s claims that local chief executives from all over the country are indeed backing his supposed vice presidential bid in the May 2022 elections.
Duterte made the statement after Panelo told him in his pre-recorded public address late Thursday evening, Aug. 26, about the growing clamor of mayors expressing their support for Duterte’s possible run for vice president.
In his remarks, the President said he was thankful for the “endorsement” that Panelo has been obtaining for him over the past few months and jested that a few more might really drive him to run for the said post.
“Thank you for the endorsements that you have secured for me. Mukhang tatakbo na talaga ako (I think that I will really run now),” he said.
“Nako-convince na ako, baka dalawang appearances mo pa, ilang mayors pa siguro, talagang sisigaw na ako ng (I am now getting convinced. Perhaps two more appearances from you and a few more mayors then I will really shout) ‘Banzai!'” he added.
This, even as Duterte was quoted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday as having made up his mind to run for the country’s second-highest post.
Banzai refers to the Japanese battle cry before attacking fiercely and recklessly, especially during World War II.
President Duterte has expressed his intention to run as vice president in the 2022 polls to “continue his campaign” against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, and insurgency, among others.
However, Malacañang has also said that President Duterte will not pursue his candidacy if his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will run for president.
In his pre-recorded public address on Thursday, the President reiterated that he has no personal interest in seeking another elective post.
“The Filipino nation can be very sure that whatever advice or whatever statement that I would give, it would always be for the benefit and interest of the country,” he said.
“I have no personal interest there except to serve,” he added.