MANILA — Senator Richard Gordon hinted on Tuesday at vying for the presidency again in 2022, admitting he is already studying this possibility.
Speaking at a virtual forum organized by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), the lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said he is considering the country's top post.
“I would be lying if I don’t consider it. Pinag-aaralan namin, nagko-konsulta ako and I still have until October to decide," said Gordon, who lost to Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 polls.
(We are studying it; I am already consulting with people and I still have until October to decide.")
Gordon has been a politician since the '80s, when he was elected as mayor of Olongapo City.
Since then, he went on to take several national executive government posts, and has been elected senator a couple of times since 2004.
“If God gives me strength and the people give me the greatest gift if I run or when I run, I know what I’m gonna do, I can sit down today and become president, and I know what to do,” Gordon said.
"I will not miss a beat."
He was referring to his performance as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The senator trailed near the bottom of Pulse Asia's latest survey on Filipinos' preferred presidential candidates in 2022, placing 11th out of 13 spots.
PH'S COVID-19 RESPONSE
During the briefing, he also said that the government should step up its testing and vaccination program to be able to fully address the current surge in reported daily cases of the disease.
"We need to (vaccinate) every day, at least 240,000 people a day so everybody has got to be all hands on deck," the senator noted.
"We need to test people every day in the community so that when someone gets sick, we can adequately track them down, trace them, so that we can put them out of the community and so that the hospitals will not be under pressure."
And while new cases have decreased after Metro Manila and other nearby provinces were placed in stricter lockdown, Gordon said everyone should not let their guard down.
"Definitely the cases are going down but it doesn't mean if it goes down and if we're careless again then it would go up," he said.
As of the last week of April this year, the Philippines' pace of vaccination was at 35,320 individuals over a 7-day average.
And based on latest data, the country has been testing 51,000 individuals per day on average in a 7-day period.
The country has so far nearly 1.068 million COVID-19 cases, over 66,000 of which are remaining active cases.
A total of 17,622 individuals, meanwhile, have died due to the respiratory disease.