Malacañang on Monday urged those who doubted the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to retire to wait until the deadline of filing certificates of candidacy (COC) and candidacy substitutions to find out whether or not he was serious in his declaration.
Political analysts earlier raised skepticism over Duterte’s pronouncement, noting that he may still change his mind as in 2015 when he joined the presidential race at the last minute.
Prior to the 2016 national elections, Duterte said he would not run for president but later substituted for Martin Diño as the standard-bearer of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“Kung talagang may nagdududa, antayin nalang natin ang Oct. 8 para malaman natin kung anong plano ni Presidente. Kung mayroon pa ring duda, antayin natin Nov. 15 kasi yun po ang deadline para sa substitution (If there are doubts let’s just wait for Oct. 8 to find out the President’s plans. If there are still doubts, let’s just wait until Nov. 15 because that is the deadline for substitutions),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Angeles City, Pampanga.
He said it would be best to wait and see since he could not give any other assurance.
“Wala na po akong assurance na maibibigay doon sa mga talagang gusto magduda (I can no longer give any further assurance to those who are really doubtful),” he added.
Roque also dismissed the possibility of Duterte running against his long-time aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who has already filed his COC for vice president.
“Bakit naman tayo magdududa kung sinabi na ni Presidente ‘yan? At naghain na po ng certificate of candidacy si Senator Bong Go for vice president. Eh hindi na po makakatakbo si Presidente sa posisyon ng vice president dahil hindi naman niya pupuwede labanan si Senator Bong Go. At alam naman po natin hindi na siya pupuwedeng maging presidente muli (Why would be doubt what the President said? Senator Bong Go already filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president. The President can’t run for the vice president because he can’t run against Senator Bong Go. And we know he can’t run for president again),” he said.
Asked if Duterte had plans of substituting for Go, Roque said he had no personal knowledge about the President’s plans.
“Hindi ko po alam kung ano po ang mangyayari pero sa ngayon po ay nagkaroon na ng desisyon (I don’t know what could happen but as of now he has made a decision)– Senator Bong Go will be the candidate for Vice President,” he added. “Ang sabi ng Presidente (The President said) he is retiring. Let’s leave it at that.”
Meanwhile, Roque clarified that Duterte’s declaration that his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will pair with Go for the two top government posts was merely his “personal wish”.
“I think the President has said that he wants Mayor Sara to run with Senator Bong Go…That is the personal wish of the President,” he said.
To recall, Sara Duterte has repeatedly rejected the presidency and even filed her COC for a third and last term as mayor on Saturday.
“I can only speak for the President because Mayor Sara has her own spokesperson, (Liloan) Mayor (Christina) Frasco. As far as the President is concerned, he thinks it will be a Sara-Go tandem but that is as far as the President is concerned. Alam ko po na nag-file naman siya ng certificate of candidacy pero (I know she has filed her certificate of candidacy as mayor but) all lawyers know that all Certificate of Candidacy can be withdrawn,” he added.
In an ambush interview outside the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Saturday after Go filed his COC for vice president, Duterte confirmed that he was rooting for the Sara-Go tandem.
“Sara-Go na ‘yan (It’s already Sara-Go [in the 2022 national elections]),” Duterte said in a video uploaded on the Facebook page of actress Vivian Velez.
Source: Philippines News Agency