SEEKING another elective post is “very far from President Rodrigo Duterte’s mind,” his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday in response to the President’s name being floated as a possible running mate for his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in the 2022 presidential elections.
“I’m not surprised. That has been done before in the city of Davao and both of them ran as mayor and vice mayor,” Panelo said when asked about the Duterte-Duterte tandem floated in the survey released by political consultancy firm Publicus Asia Inc.
But Panelo said the 2022 elections were “very far” from the President’s mind at this point.
“Running for any office is far-fetched at this time. He’s focused on his constitutional duty to serve and to protect the people,” Panelo said.
“Until the end of his term, he will do it with passion, dedication, and no force on earth, or organizations, or persons, can stop or impede him from doing such task assigned to him by the Constitution.”
The survey identified the President’s daughter and Duterte himself as among the top contenders for president and vice president in the 2022 elections.
“That has been the emerging idea among people, that there should be a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the next presidential elections. The President is not prohibited from running [for] vice president,” Panelo said.
Asked if Mr. Duterte was aware of the survey, Panelo said: “I told him last night and he smiled.”
The Palace official said possibilities were “limitless” when pressed if the President would heed the clamor in certain regions for him to run for vice president.
Panelo pointed out that before the 2016 election campaign, then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would not run for president.
Duterte has publicly and repeatedly dissuaded his eldest daughter from seeking the presidency, saying it was a “thankless job” and that he wanted to spare Sara from the criticisms confronting him regularly.
Duterte has also repeatedly said he was tired and old and would not stay a minute longer in office.
“Didn’t he say that he does not want to run for president? (But) it depends. If circumstances require him to run, he might,” Panelo said.