Cayetano not seeking presidency; offers bets help in drawing up plan vs COVID-19

Published October 1, 2021, 11:17 AM

by Ben Rosario

Instead of joining next year’s presidential race, former Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday, Oct. 1 offered contenders his help drawing a five-year plan to battle COVID-19 and resuscitate the economy.

Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

“So I’d like to thank everyone who are working so hard, we did our best but together with the family and close supporters, hindi po tayo tatakbo bilang pangulo ng republika ng Pilipinas ngayon 2022, (we will not run for president of the republic of the Philippines in 2022),” he said.

Cayetano said seeking the presidency would only cause division instead of united Filipinos However, Cayetano has not revealed his plans for the 2022 national and local elections.

The former House leader has the option to seek re-election or pursue his comeback in the Senate.

The Bible-quoting lawmaker explained that after “a lot of praying and discerning” he is convinced that offering help is more important than seeking the position.

“At yung na-discern kong role ko ngayon is tumulong na mag-draft ng five-year plan at mai-offer ito sa lahat ng presidentiables at ma-adopt nila at siyempre ‘yung ma-amyendahan nila ayon sa kanilang plano (And what I discerned to be my role now is to help draft a five-year plan and offer this to all presidentiable and a have them adopt it and of course have them amend in accordance with their own plans),” said Cayetano.

Speculations that Cayetano would seek the presidency swirled when he started going around various localities to distribute P10,000 as “ayuda” (cash aid) to families facing the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the interview, the former House leader said he will continue to push for the passage of a law that would provide the distribution of P10,000 to Filipinos who have suffered from the pandemic’s economic and public health devastation.

He aired hopes of sparking new ideas in addressing the pandemic in terms of public health and livelihood.

The Nacionalista Party to which Cayetano belonged has not yet announced its line up of candidates for the 2022 national elections.

However, the NP leadership has already declared intention to forge an alliance with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, with its founder, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, as its bet for the president.

It will be recalled that Cayetano and Mayor Duterte had not been seeing eye-to-eye in years.

On the other hand, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., another NP stalwart, is also reportedly eyeing the presidency. Marcos had been endorsed for president by the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, a political party formed by his late father, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.