While President Rodrigo Duterte thought it was a “good idea” to join the vice-presidential race, he won’t seek the post if House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez decides to run in the next year’s elections.
The President declared in a speech Wednesday that he would support the lawmaker in his possible vice-presidential bid.
“If Romualdez runs (for VP), I’m out. If he does not, I may be out, too,” Duterte said.
“Whether I run for (vice) president or not, it is dependent on the word of honor I gave to Romualdez,” he added.
The President made the remark in Malacañang during the ceremonial signing of four new laws that was attended by lawmakers and local officials, including Romualdez.
Duterte recalled his promise of support to the lawmaker, which he had made during the intense House speakership race among Romualdez, Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco in 2019.
“That was my deal with him. I told him, don’t seek (the speakership). If you run for VP, I will support you,” the Chief Executive said.
Cayetano and Velasco shared the speakership, but not after a controversial withdrawal by Cayetano from the agreement when he was the House leader already. Cayetano was then ousted by a great majority of the members of the House who protested the way he hogged the post.
In his speech, the President noted that running for vice president was a “good idea” proposed by his supporters, saying he still has campaign promises which have yet to be fulfilled. He also said he deserved “a good rest”.
Valenzuela Representative Eric Martinez, a ranking member of the PDP-Laban, is pushing for Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to become the party’s vice-presidential bet.
He said Go is the most qualified among all of them.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also on Wednesday, said her final decision whether to run for president in the next polls will be made by July or three months before the one-week filing of the Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“It’s being weighed as a lot of people are asking me to reconsider my decision not to run for president. They’re demanding to talk to me about it,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She disclosed being “given” by the governors of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party, which she chairs, “until July to decide”.
“I decided in January and I was asked to extend it until 30 April, then by 30 April, I was asked to extend it until July,” she explained.
Duterte-Carpio rebuffed speculations that she is just playing coy like her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, did in 2016.
“There is no script. Right now, (I am) contemplating about it carefully because the job (of a president) is not easy,” she stressed.
The local chief executive, moreover, dismissed the idea that there will be a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the 2022 national elections.