MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is the “strongest potential vice-presidential candidate” in the 2022 elections, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said on Tuesday.
Romualdez made the statement after Duterte expressed openness to the idea of running for vice president next year.
“I believe President Duterte is very much qualified and capable to run for vice president. He remains very popular five years after his election as the sixteenth president of the Philippines,” Romualdez said. “I agree with him that he needs to continue his good platforms of government, including the fight against corruption, illegal drugs, and criminality.”
Romualdez said while he is keeping his options open, it would not be a “good decision” to run against the President.
Romualdez earlier said he would not seek the vice presidency if Duterte will run for the same position.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the unsolved drug problem and corruption in government are among the reasons that might convince Duterte to heed the public’s clamor for him to once again seek a national post after his presidency ends in 2022.
“Meron po siyang unfinished business pagdating po sa droga, pagdating po sa korapsyon (He has unfinished business when it comes to illegal drugs and corruption),” Roque said.
Roque said Duterte believes it is not a “bad idea” to seek the vice presidency.
Duterte’s ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, adopted on May 31 a resolution urging him to join the 2022 vice presidential derby and choose the party’s standard-bearer in the 2022 national elections.
Duterte initially said on June 8 he is reluctant to run for vice president, as he is “ready” to retire as the country’s chief executive and return to his hometown, Davao City after his term ends in June next year.
On June 17, Duterte acknowledged that a “lot of people” are urging him to run for vice president, but said his decision will depend on the decision of Romualdez, who might also seek the second top post in the country. (PNA)