In perhaps the most unexpected turn of events at last night’s weekly presidential update, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was open to running for vice president in next year’s national elections.
Near the end of the late-night address to the nation—which is meant for updates regarding the Covid-19 pandemic situation—Duterte took out a piece of paper and announced that he was adding an item to the agenda: “running for vice president, ako” (me).
Duterte admitted that he likes the idea. “Ah, sabi ko, it’s not at all a bad idea. And if there is a space for me there, ahhhh, siguro! Pero kung wala akong space, everybody is crowding up wanting to be one—vice president—sila na lang muna kasi tapos na ako. But there are things I’d like to continue, and that would be dependent on the president that I will support.”
President Duterte, who belongs to the PDP-Laban party, then veered off to call Senator Manny Pacquiao—who is the current president of PDP-Laban, with Duterte as chair—an opponent. Duterte took issue with Pacquiao’s recent statements alleging corruption in government.
“Wala ka namang sinabi all these years, praises ka nang praises sa akin. Tapos ngayon sasabihin mo corrupt. Saang corruption, anong opisina? Kasi ang alam ko wala,” Duterte said. (“You haven’t said anything all these years. You keep singing my praises. And then you’ll say there is corruption. Where is the corruption, which office?”)
Duterte then acknowledged that there was corruption within the government’s ranks, “kaya lang napaalis na.” He then said that “every administration has its share of the problem of corruption. Do not ever think that if you will win as president, na wala nang corruption dito sa Pilipinas.”
Duterte looped back to the topic of the elections, challenging Pacquiao—“If you will fail to do that, I will campaign against you, because you are not doing your duty. Do it, because if not, I will just tell the people, ‘do not vote for Pacquiao because he is a liar.'”