MANILA, Philippines — While President Rodrigo Duterte has not decided on whether to run for vice president next year, Malacañang agrees with Sen. Imee Marcos that the "fight is over" if he does because of his high trust and satisfaction numbers.
Leaders of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan have adopted a resolution urging Duterte to run for vice president, saying his "steadfast leadership" and the "strong public support for his agenda of change" would bring the people and the economy "back to good health." They have also cited the need to continue the socioeconomic agenda of Duterte, who serves as chairman of the party.
Malacañang has said that Duterte was still thinking about a possible bid for the vice presidency but Marcos believes that the fight for the second highest post of the land is over if the chief executive decides to join the race. The senator has also predicted that those who are interested in running for vice president might back out if Duterte seeks the post.
"Well, I agree with that. It is very clear that based on the data I saw in the last six months, the trust and satisfaction rating of our president has not gone below 90 to 91 (percent) even if his critics are very noisy," Roque told radio station dzXL Tuesday.
"What is being discussed right now is who will be the running mate, who will run for president. But the president has not decided (on whether he will run for vice president). He said he would think about it," he added.
Asked who is the preferred running mate of Duterte, Roque replied: "My guess is as good as anyone’s guess since it's just an opinion, just in case. But I think let's just wait for his decision if he will run for vice president."
"Let's just wait since whether they like it or not, candidates have to make a decision by October," he added, referring to the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections.
Last week, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte would join the race for vice president if there is a "strong clamor" for him to do so.
"I asked him (Duterte). This was his answer: I leave it to God," Panelo said on One News channel's current affairs program "The Chiefs" last week.
Some groups are urging Duterte's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to gun for the presidency, believing a "Duterte-Duterte" tandem would be difficult to beat during next year's polls. Carpio has said she might run for president in 2034, not next year.
During an event organized by Filipino-Chinese businessmen last April, Roque said Duterte might choose his preferred successor among Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, and former senator Bongbong Marcos if Carpio and his former aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go do not join the presidential race in 2022.