2022 PH presidential race

Former Arroyo defense chief Norberto Gonzales guns for presidency

Bea Cupin
Former Arroyo defense chief Norberto Gonzales guns for presidency

PDSP BET. The former defense chief throws his hat into the ring for 2022

Rappler

The Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas bet says experts – scientists and medical professionals – should be leading the country's pandemic response

Norberto Gonzales, who was defense secretary under former president Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo, is running for president. 

Gonzales, 74, filed his candidacy on Wednesday, October 6, at the Sofitel hotel, where the Commission on Elections (Comelec) received candidacies for national posts. 

He is running under Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas.

In a September 30 post on the party’s Facebook page, the party said the elections were an “opportunity for social change.” The page has been active in posting photos of Gonzales’ supporters holding tarps and signages promoting a 2022 run. 

Ang hangarin natin ay baguhin ang umiiral na pamumulitika dito sa bayan natin. Sa aking karanasan na halos isang dekada na paglilingkod sa gobyerno, nakita ko ang pagiging importante ng politika and uri ng politiko na magpapatakbo ng bayan natin,” he said. 

(My goal is to change the prevailing form of politics in our country. In my experience from over a decade of public service, I’ve learned that politics and the quality of politicians are important in setting directions for our country.)

Gonzales said he wasn’t worried over alliances in 2022, saying that what matters the most is to “form a national sentiment on what you’re fighting for.” As of October 6, over 40 people – including early survey front-runners Manny Pacquiao, Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos, and Panfilo Lacson – have filed their candidacies for the highest post in the land.

He also said that the Duterte government’s response to the COVID-10- pandemic wasn’t too good (“medyo hindi maganda”).

“It’s important to give the responsibility of providing direction in the pandemic to those who understand it best,” said Gonzales in a mix of English and Filipino, noting that he’d want to see scientists and medical experts take the lead in government’s pandemic response. 

Gonzales was Arroyo’s defense chief twice over – in 2007 and again from 2009 to 2010. He was also Arroyo’s national security adviser. 

He has yet to announce who’d be running alongside him as vice president. – Rappler.com 

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.