Duterte focused on vaccine rollout, not VP bid — Palace

President Duterte is still undecided on whether or not to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte attends ceremonial turnover of Sinovac vaccines at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on February 28, 2021.(Malacañang)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President has yet to make a decision on his political fate since he remained focused on pressing matters such as the country's vaccination drive at the moment.

"Noong kinausap ko siya diyan eh wala pa po siyang desisyon (When I talked to him, he has no decision yet)," Roque said during an online press briefing Thursday, June 3 about the President's potential vice presidential bid next year.

"Mayroon lang mga options talaga siyang sinabi ‘no at as of now, siguro nakatutok pa rin ang Presidente po dito sa pandemya, sa bakuna (The President mentioned some options and as of now, maybe the President is focused on the pandemic, the vaccination efforts)," he added.

Roque explained that vaccination of Filipinos would be crucial to help ensure a safe mobility during the national and local elections next year.

"Ang importante naman ay mabakunahan ang pinakamarami nating mga kababayan nang sa ganoon magkaroon po talaga tayo ng eleksiyon kung saan ang mga tao at ang mga kandidato ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng panayam at makaboto nang pinakamabuting mga kandidato ang ating electorate (It is important to vaccinate majority of our countrymen so we can have an election where people and candidates will have a chance to interact and our electorate can vote for the best candidate)," he said.

The country's electorate is set to vote for a new president and vice president, alongside other new national and local government leaders, in May 2022.

Duterte, who will end his six-year term on June 2022, is being persuaded by his political party to run for vice president next year. The Palace earlier said the President was leaving the matter to God.

The country has received more than 8.7 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, including Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and Pfizer jabs, as global supply remained limited.

More than 1.2 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated in the country since the government began the inoculation campaign last March. Health workers, seniors, and those with comorbidity have been given the initial priority. The country's essential workers and indigent population will be next in the vaccination line starting this month.