Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. has denied having plans to run for president in the 2022 elections.
Revilla addressed the statement of his party mate, Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay, that the senator was one of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats' (CMD) options for presidential candidate.
In an interview with CNN Philippines Friday, October 15, Pichay, Lakas-CMD secretary-general, said that while Revilla, their chairman, declined their offer, the senator "remains to be an option."
And while they already fielded presidential and vice presidential candidates last week, Pichay intimated that they are hoping for Revilla to change his mind.
But on his Facebook Live Friday night, Revilla said he wanted to keep himself and his family away from the political noise during the elections.
"Hindi po. Tahimik po ang buhay ko, tahimik po ang pamilya namin. Masyado nang marami kaming pinagdaanang bagyo (No. I am living a quiet life, my family is living a quiet life. We have gone through a lot of things already)," Revilla told his viewers.
"Hindi po totoo na ako po'y tatakbo ng mataas na posisyon, hindi po totoo 'yan (It's not true that I will be running for higher office, that's not true)," he said.
In a brief statement, Revilla maintained: "I am honored by the trust and confidence of the Party and our kababayans, but I have no intention (running for the Presidency)."
In the same clip, Revilla also appeared to counter Pichay, who said they are no longer waiting for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for president.
"Kami po'y nag-aantay, ang partido namin, sa desisyon ng nakakataas kung sino po ang aming susuportahan para sa bayan (Our party is waiting for the decision of higher-ups on who we will support for the upcoming elections)," he said, even as he leads the political party.
"Basta't isipin niyo, ang iniisip po namin ay 'yong makakabuti para sa lahat (Just remember that we are always thinking of what's good for our country)," he added.
The Manila Bulletin has asked Revilla's office for clarification on the senator's statement, specifically whether or not they are still waiting for Duterte-Carpio.
Before Pichay's pronouncement, he was quoted confirming to House reporters that the Lakas-CMD fielded a certain Anna Velasco as presidential candidate as placeholder for the Davao City mayor should the latter change her mind about not seeking presidency.
He also compared the election to a card game.
But on Tuesday, October 12, Pichay denied making the admission, saying in a television interview that he " even understand the word 'placeholder'" before it was mentioned to him by the media.
"I did not say that, I said we have a presidential candidate but we can still negotiate with other presidential candidates. We put up a candidate but if there are other candidates whose ratings are high, then we can consider them," Pichay told ABS-CBN News Channel.