President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he was not sold on the call of his political party members to run for vice president in 2022.
In an interview with his supporter and friend Apollo Quiboloy on Tuesday, June 8, Duterte also said he planned to retire after his presidency.
"Mahirap 'yan, Pastor, kasi magretire na ako (That's difficult, Pastor, because I will retire)," he said.
"Tapos this time, ako yung mamili ng presidente. 'Pag manalo, sabihin nila, ano ko lang 'yan, 'Perpetuate yourself in power.' Re-resist ako," he continued.
(And this time, they want me to choose the president. When they win, they will say, 'It's to perpetuate yourself in power.' I will resist.)
Duterte said he wanted to go back to Davao City and even joked he would just spend his days in Quiboloy's garden resort called Prayer Mountain.
Quiboloy, who had supported Duterte's presidential bid in 2016, tried to convince him to reconsider. He said the job of vice president was not as tiring or burdensome as that of the president but would still allow Duterte to be the "beacon and guide for the Filipinos"
"Parang semi-retired ka, nandoon ka pa rin. (You will be kind of semi-retired, but you will still be there.) This nation still needs you," said Quiboloy.
PDP-Laban, Duterte's national political party, is trying to convince him, their chairman, to run for vice president in the national elections next year. They even said they would give him a free hand in choosing the presidential candidate he will run alongside, even if the candidate is not a party member.
Political experts have slammed PDP-Laban's call as "politics of the absurd" and a corruption of the electoral process. Former Commission on Elections chairman and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, Christian Monsod, also said a VP run by Duterte could be a strategy to circumvent the charter.
The Constitution does not contain any provision that explicitly bars Duterte from running as vice president. But analysts are concerned that if Duterte controls whoever wins as president, the politician could be made to vacate the post and allow Duterte to assume the presidency again. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.