Presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s offer to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte in his 2022 ticket proves that the Philippine leader has achieved “a lot” during his term, according to Malacañang.
Without disclosing Duterte’s decision whether to accept or reject the proposal, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Palace had perceived the offer as a vote of confidence on the administration’s accomplishments.
“This proves that President Duterte has achieved a lot and that he is doing a lot of things and will do a lot more,” Nograles said in a televised briefing, reacting to Domagoso’s declaration.
“This also shows public confidence in the President if he will be given a chance to continue serving the people through the Senate,” he added.
Duterte has yet to publicly comment on Domagoso’s offer. It was not mentioned by the President in his regular “Talk to the People” on Monday night, which was also his first public appearance this week.
Nograles also refused to reveal the President’s reaction on the matter, adding that the Chief Executive should announce if he would join Domagoso’s Aksyon Demokratiko.
“I don’t want to preempt what will happen in the coming months and days. I also don’t want to preempt the future plans of other candidates,” he said.
Duterte is seeking a Senate seat in 2022 under the banner of the little-known Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), an administration party allied with the PDP Laban.
The future of his political party, which emerged as the Philippines’ dominant political group following his 2016 victory, remains bleak after its presidential bet Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go announced his decision to withdraw from the presidential race.
PDP Laban has yet to announce who it would support in next year’s elections.
Nograles, who is also executive vice president of the ruling party, said the group would continue to support Go in his political plans.
“We have always been supportive of Senator Bong Go in his quest to be of service to the people. We respect whatever his decision will be,” he said during the regular Palace briefing, evading queries on whether there would be a last-ditch effort to convince the lawmaker to push through with his candidacy.
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The Palace mouthpiece was also mum on Duterte’s “anointed one” or preferred successor in 2022, noting that the President is considering several factors whether he would throw his support to another candidate after Go pulled out of the presidential derby.
“President Duterte is weighing a lot of factors in his decision. But the number one on the list is a person who can truly serve our country,” Nograles said.
Duterte is not on good terms with leading presidential contenders, particularly with Domagoso, Vice President Leni Robredo, Sens. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and former lawmaker Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. In separate instances, he hurled insults at them for various reasons.
Among the Palace hopefuls, Domagoso was the first to say that he would welcome an endorsement from the President despite their previous verbal tussle, adding that it would greatly aid his campaign.
He amped up his pro-Duterte positioning on Monday when he said during a chance interview with reporters that he is willing to adopt Duterte in his senatorial slate and that he would personally vote for him.
Domagoso had said that the popular Chief Executive would be an “effective senator” since he can ensure that his “legacy will be institutionalized” through legislation.
Aksyon Demokratiko, has three senatorial candidates at present, namely, women’s rights advocate Samira Gutoc, nurse-educator Carl Balita, and television host Jopet Sison.