From landslide Palace victor to Senate 12th placer? Rody says he wouldn't mind it

Published November 19, 2021, 7:30 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte said he’d be fine with a 12th place finish in next year’s Senate race.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during one of his events in Oriental Mindoro on Nov. 18, 2021 (Malacañang photo)

Speaking during a meeting with Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) election bets in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro Thursday, Nov. 18, Duterte claimed that he had “no illusions” anymore about politics and that it would be enough for him to just get barely elected as a senator in 2022.

“Let’s just wait. Ako, wala naman din ibang kailangan. Siguro maski number 12 lang ako sa Senate race. OK na ako (As for me, I don’t need anything else. Maybe it’s enough for me to finish at number 12 in the Senate race. I’m OK with that),” he said.

“Wala na akong ano dyan (I don’t have anymore), I have no illusions, any–wala na (nothing). Kasi naging Presidente nako, sagad na (I’ve already become President, I’ve reached the top),” noted Duterte, who won the 2016 Palace contest in landslide fashion.

A video of his speech was belatedly aired on Malacañang’s social media platform Friday afternoon, Nov. 19.

Although he’s already in the final months of his six-year tenure sa President, Duterte is still quite popular, especially when compared to the ratings of his predecessors during the tail-end of their respective terms.

Duterte had been indecisive about his political plans until last Monday, Nov. 15, when his camp formalized his bid for the Senate in the May 2022 elections. A total of 12 seats in the legislative chamber will be up for grabs, to be filled by the senatorial candidates based on descending number of votes.

Before this, the 76-year-old PDP-Laban chairman flirted with a vice presidential run as a way to “continue his crusade“. He then balked, claiming that what he really wanted was to retire from politics after finishing his term on June 30, 2022.

But why is he now pursuing a Senate seat? Duterte said he has a “personal reason”, but didn’t divulge.

“But there is a personal reason kung bakit. Talagang…well, wag na, mahaba na yang istorya. Pero may rason talaga kung bakit tatakbo ako (It’s really…well, forget it, it’s a long story. But there’s really a reason why I’m running). It’s not because I really want to stay in government for–I would have wanted to retire after this,” he said.