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Duterte flirts with VP run, but says wonât mount bid if Romualdez does
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks after the ceremonial signing of four bills.
RTVM screenshot

Duterte flirts with VP run, but says won’t mount bid if Romualdez does

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - June 16, 2021 - 5:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte openly flirted with the possibility of running for vice president in next year’s elections, but said he would not mount a bid for the vice presidency if House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez guns for the post.

Duterte said “it’s a good idea” for him to run for vice president, saying he still has unfinished business like fighting drugs, corruption and criminality, and building infrastructure.

This is a reversal of his previous statement that he is "resisting" calls for him to run as vice president.

But he also said that he would not run for vice president if Romualdez does, citing his promise to support the House leader should he run for the second-highest office in the country.

Duterte said he made this promise to Romualdez in 2019, when he brokered a term-sharing agreement between contenders for the House speakership, which included the Leyte lawmaker.

Romualdez was selected House majority leader following the talks with Duterte, while Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco were supposed to split their three-year term at the top of Batasang Pambansa.

Duterte said he had asked Romualdez to just give way to Cayetano and Velasco and promised to support his vice presidential bid in 2022.

“If you run for vice president, I will support you. And I will hold on to that commitment. ‘Pag tumakbo si Romualdez, wala ako. (If Romualdez runs, I won’t run,)” the president said.

The president’s party, the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan, has formally urged him to run for vice president, supposedly to continue the programs of his administration.

Political analysts have viewed this as a way to circumvent the constitutional prohibition on the reelection of presidents.

MARTIN ROMUALDEZ RODRIGO DUTERTE
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