President Rodrigo Duterte said he will support House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez should the lawmaker decide to run for the vice president in next year’s national elections.
Duterte recalled that during last year’s jockeying for the House Speaker post, he told Romualdez not to bother with the intramurals in Congress and instead wait for the 2022 polls.
“This is the truth: I told (then Marinduque Rep. and now House Speaker Velasco) Lord and (then-House Speaker Taguig Rep.) Alan Cayetano to just split the term. The problem was there was a serious contender also for the speakership – Congressman Romualdez. So this was my deal with him: ‘Do not bother with that (speakership) and in the next election, which is just around the corner if you run for vice president, I will support you.’ And I will hold on to that commitment,” the President said.
Duterte made the announcement Wednesday at the Palace during the ceremonial signing of several laws that was attended by several lawmakers led by Velasco, Romualdez, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and senators Christopher Go, Joel Villanueva, Ramon Revilla Jr., Ronald dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino.
“If Romualdez runs, I will not run. If Romualdez does not run, I think I will still not run. Everybody wants a good rest after a grueling [six years.] Insha’Allah, may I reach the finish line,” he said.
“If Romualdez runs, I will support. That is my promise. I will honor my word,” Duterte added.
Earlier, the ruling political party PDP-Laban approved a resolution to convince Duterte to run for vice president next year.
But the President said he is “resisting” calls for him to seek the vice president, adding that he is “ready for retirement.”
Meanwhile, presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio appeared to be now a little more open to the possibility of seeking the presidency in next year’s elections.
Mayor Sara, who in January said she will run for President “in 2034,” said it is “too early” to say whether or not she will gun for the highest elective position.
“We do not know what will happen tomorrow,” she said in a television interview.
She topped the latest Pulse Asia survey for possible presidential contenders conducted between Feb. 22 and March 3, with 27 percent of 2,400 respondents said they would vote for the Davao city mayor above 13 other suggested candidates.
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