Presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s offer to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte in his 2022 senatorial ticket merely affirms 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 of the Manila mayor, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Palace has 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 Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), an administration party allied with the PDP Laban.
PDP Laban has yet to announce who it would support in next year’s elections after its standard-bearer Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go heeded the wish of his family to back out the presidential derby.
Go has yet to formally withdraw his Certificate of Candidacy at the Commission on 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.
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.
“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.
Others running for president are Vice President Leni Robredo, Sens. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Among the Palace hopefuls, Domagoso was the first to say that he would welcome an endorsement by the President despite their previous verbal tussle, adding that it would greatly aid his campaign.
Domagoso and even Lacson have echoed Go’s previous statements on the need to continue the many policies and programs of the present administration that have redounded to the good of Filipinos, including the government’s centerpiece “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
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 said that Mr. Duterte 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.