MANILA - Presidential candidate Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa admitted Tuesday he did not make any preparations to run in next year's elections.
Dela Rosa earlier said he was picked as the presidential bet of a faction of President Rodrigo Duterte's political party just 2 hours before the filing of candidacies closed.
"Bakit ang intensyon ba kinakailangan dapat long-term intention? Hindi tayo makakabuo ng immediate intention? Kinekuwestiyon nila ang aking bona fide intention to run as president dahil nga wala akong preparasyon. Yes, totoo 'yan. Hindi ako nagpe-prepare pero 'yung intensyon, malaking debate 'yan," he told ANC's Headstart when asked if he could be considered a nuisance candidate.
(Should my intention be only long-term intention? I can't have an immediate intention? They're questioning my bona fide intention to run as president because I was not prepared. That's true. I didn't prepare but my intention is a huge debate.)
"Who are you to judge my intention? The mere fact that I filed my certificate of candidacy is an overt manifestation of my clear intention to become the next president of this Republic."
The senator said he was not told that he was going to become a "placeholder" but that he expected the party to adopt Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to substitute him.
"I'm a team player, di po ako sakim sa kapangyarihan. Kung napagdesisyunan ng partido na ipapalit si Inday Sara as a more viable, more winnable candidate, by all means I have to abide by party decisions," he said.
(I'm a team player, I'm not power hungry. If the party decides to get Inday Sara replace me as a more viable, more winnable candidate, by all means I have to abide by party decisions.)
"But still you cannot question my bona fide intent to run because kung hindi talaga makatakbo si Inday Sara, buo ang loob ko na lumaban sa eleksyong ito."
(But still you cannot question my bona fide intent to run because if Inday Sara does not run, I will fight in this elections.)
The former Philippine National Police chief said he would continue Duterte's legacy if he wins next year.
"I was nominated by my political party to put continuity on the Duterte legacy. You expect na yung ginagawa ni Duterte, mga programa niyang maganda ipagpapatuloy natin yan," he said.
(You can expect I will continue his good programs.)
"We must admit there can never be Duterte 2.0. There’s only one Duterte. Iba siya, iba rin si Bato (he's different, I'm different). So you expect na meron din tayong deviation (there will be deviation) from purely Duterte approach."
Dela Rosa, meantime, defended Duterte from criticism that he does not want to disclose his wealth.
"By all means nandyan yan (it's there), that’s a public document. Di natin masabing mali dahil sumusunod lang din si President Duterte sa (We cna't say it's wrong because President Duterte is only following the) Ombudsman policy," he said.
The senator, who served as police chief of Davao City under Duterte, in the same interview said he would protect him from the International Criminal Court's investigation into the administration's drug war.
ANC, ANC Top, ANC Exclusives, Headstart, Bato dela Rosa, Rodrigo Duterte, 2022 elections