MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte "leaves to God" the decision on whether or nor he would run for vice president in the 2022 elections, Malacañang said on Thursday.
"I think I will quote the President, he leaves it to God," Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
He repeated this answer when asked to clarify if the President was open to joining next year's polls.
Duterte's chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo this week disclosed the President's 2022 plans.
"Well, I asked him, ito ang sagot niya: 'hahayaan ko 'yan sa Diyos,'" Panelo said in an interview.
(His answer was, 'I leave that to God.')
Roque last year said it was unlikely that the President would seek to be vice president in 2022, as the running mate of his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
"Ang pagkakaalam ko po eh, atat na atat na si Presidenteng matapos ang kaniyang termino at gusto na niyang umuwi dito sa Davao," Roque said in November, referring to Duterte's hometown.
(What I know is that the President is already eager to finish his term and he wants to come home here in Davao.)
"Iyong Duterte-Duterte tandem po na sinasabi ni Secretary Panelo, iyan po ay kaniyang personal na opinyon," he told reporters.
(The Duterte-Duterte tandem that Secretary Panelo is saying is his personal opinion.)
Duterte, 76, is not eligible for re-election.
He has repeatedly denied his daughter would seek to succeed him in 2022. Duterte-Carpio has topped recent surveys on the most preferred candidates for president.
Last year, Duterte said he would make Vice President Leni Robredo's presidential run a nightmare should she seek to be his successor.
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