MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said "maybe" he would run for vice president in the 2022 elections, the second time he floated his possible candidacy in one week.
Duterte's political party, the PDP-Laban, presented Duterte a manifesto urging him to run as vice president and choose his running-mate.
"If I run as vice president, which you want me to do so, maybe I will. Pero 'wag na tayong mag-promise ng pabahay," Duterte said in the taped meeting with PDP-Laban, which aired on the government television network on Wednesday.
(Let us no longer promise housing.)
"We just address the present agony and sorrow of the people," he said.
"To the proposition that I run for vice president, medyo I am sold to the idea. Meaning to say, I am seriously thinking of running for VP," Duterte later said.
(I am slightly sold to the idea.)
"But let me dwell into the reality of things."
Duterte, 76, said he would be "reduced to inutility" if he wins as vice president and the next president would not be his ally. Nonetheless, he said would "find a way to be productive and just see to it that Filipinos are not pushed to the wall."
Last Thursday, Duterte said the public should "consider" him as "a candidate for the vice presidency" in the 2022 elections "at this time."
The constitution bans the President from seeking re-election. Some of his allies say this constitutional bar only applies to the presidency and not other posts.
But critics say a Duterte vice presidential run would violate the spirit of the constitution.
Duterte steps down in June next year.
Some allies have urged him to pick his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as his anointed successor.
During the PDP-Laban meeting, Roque said the PDP-Laban should "look for a viable candidate for the presidency."
He said his former longtime aide Sen. Christopher Go is "ready anytime."
Go, who serves as senator until 2025, said the PDP-Laban must prioritize solving the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he had "no ambition" to run as president, which he said is a "thankless job."
"Consider me last, I am not interested to run for the presidency dahil alam kong mahirap talaga 'yong trabaho (because I know the job is difficult)," said the senator.
However, he also said, "Leave my fate to God, I leave my fate to the Dutertes… and sa Pilipino (and to the Filipinos)."