President Rodrigo Duterte is considering five possible successors—his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Senators Christopher Go and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno -- the Palace said Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said the President is still not in favor of his daughter running for President in 2022, so he prefers the four others, who are close allies.
“In the end, should Sara decide not to run, or Bong Go, because he will only run for president if the President runs for vice president, the President will have to choose who has the numbers,” Roque said.
Among the five, only Pacquiao and Go are members of the ruling PDP-Laban party that Duterte chairs, where he sits as acting president.
Marcos is a member of the Nacionalista Party, Moreno is with the National Unity Party, and Duterte-Carpio heads her own regional party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Marcos met with Duerte-Carpio in Davao City this week.
Roque said the President has not made a decision yet, but talked about his options.
But he added that the President is still focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment.
Meanwhile, Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda said a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the 2022 national elections is not viable because of age issues.
Salceda said he does not see Duterte-Carpio running as president and her father running for vice president, as some in the PDP-Laban want.
"It is more reasonable that there will be a Duterte and somebody else team... I don't see [a] Duterte-Duterte tandem in 2022," he added.
Salceda also cited the need for a geographical balance.
He also noted that usually, the vice president is younger than the president."
On Monday, the ruling PDP-Laban approved a resolution to convince President Duterte to run for vice president and to choose his running mate in the 2022 elections during the party's National Council meeting in Cebu City that was boycotted by Pacquiao.
Salceda, the chairman of the House ways and means committee, earlier said he would support Duterte-Carpio should she decide to run for president.
Salceda pointed to her “humanity” when she punched a court sheriff who was enforcing an eviction order on squatters.
Mayor Sara topped the latest Pulse Asia 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.
It was the second successive time she topped Pulse Asia's survey on preferred presidential candidates for the next elections.
Having nown and served the family of President Duterte for more than two decades Go on Thursday committed to rally behind any member of the family who will run in the 2022 elections.
“I will give my full support to the Duterte family. I will support whoever Duterte family members will run in the 2022 elections regardless of their positions,” Go said.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa said Duterte-Carpio was the presidential candidate to beat, based on surveys. He said he felt she would seek the presidency.
Go, on the other hand, has repeatedly insisted he is not interested in running for president, saying he knows how difficult the job is.
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