Gatchalian eyes VP post, seeks tandem with Sara Duterte

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2021 09:08 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2021 11:18 AM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday said he intends to run for the position of vice president, but only if he is chosen as the running-mate of potential presidential bet Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio.

"I’m vying for the vice president position, but this is still very fluid... It’s very fluid at this point because it’s still being discussed with groups. There’s no final decision yet ," he told ANC's Headstart.

He said he spoke with Duterte-Carpio "a few months back" and he was initially invited to be part of the Senate slate to be supported by her regional group, Hugpong ng Pagbabago. But during the meeting, he said he also opened the possibility of running for vice president under HNP.

Asked if he will not run for the position unless he is Duterte-Carpio's running-mate, he said: "I will not run for VP. I have already signified my intention to her."

Apart from Gatchalian, former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro is also believed to be seeking a tandem with Duterte-Carpio. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez also said he is keeping his options open after his Lakas-CMD party renewed its alliance with HNP.

Gatchalian said when he last talked to Duterte-Carpio, she was still contemplating whether or not she will run for President, but he believes "decisions will be made in the next few weeks."

TALKING TO SOTTO

The senator said his vice-presidential bid is "quite fluid" in the meantime, but it is his intention and he is talking to Senate President Vicente Sotto III "for the arrangements."

Both lawmakers are members of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and Sotto is known to be running for the vice presidency next year alongside Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Gatchalian said he has a lot of respect for Sotto, their party chairman who he describes as a "man of experience" and is "very fair and open." He said the two of them will not have any conflict over the 2022 elections.

"Being party-mates and being a person who respects him, we will not have any conflict because our communication line's open and we talked about this and our talk was quite fatherly and we told ourselves that we have to talk more often especially with the elections coming," he said.

RETURNING TO THE EXECUTIVE

Although he may still run for another term as senator, Gatchalian said after years of being a lawmaker, he wants to return to the executive side. He was previously a mayor of Valenzuela City.

"I feel that I can contribute much more in the executive once I go back to the executive side and practice everything that I’ve learned," he said.

He touted his 20 years in public service and said he has "solutions in various issues, problems that is facing here in our country." He said the 2022 elections would be "crucial" because the Philippines would be facing a lot of headwinds, the biggest of which is economic growth.

"Those issues should be tackled with someone who has experience. I feel that over the last 20 years, I’ve gained a lot of experience that can contribute to a quick recovery of our country," he said.