MANILA - House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez on Monday said he is keeping his options for a 2022 run open as his political party forms an alliance with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's regional party.
Romualdez's Lakas-CMD renewed its alliance with Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago ahead of next year's elections. Duterte-Carpio has topped preference surveys for the position of president, and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, recently said he would support Romuladez's vice-presidential bid should he go for it.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, the lawmaker was asked if he would not seek the second highest executive post if not as the younger Duterte's running mate.
He replied, "Obviously, the alliance is with HNP, so that will be the priority. I’ve not had many conversations with other parties with respect to this development."
"But we’ll keep our options open and we’ll see how things come along. But the likelihood will obviously be with our allies at the HNP," he said.
Asked if Lakas-CMD, of which he is the president, will carry Duterte-Carpio as standard-bearer for the 2022 elections, Romualdez said he does not want to preempt the Davao mayor on this.
"We don’t want to preempt her. We don’t want to preempt the HNP. Definitely, what we have as the priority is just to build the alliance and to make sure that it will help put in the right national candidates in the right positions,' he said.
The president's eldest daughter has not yet confirmed her plans for 2022, but at least one ally said he had "no doubt" Duterte-Carpio will run for president.
In January, she told her supporters to wait for 2034.