By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Presidential Photos

The Duterte administration bets will win the 2022 national elections due to the government’s “well-managed” response against the COVID-19 pandemic, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Hindi ko naman sinasabi pong mananalo ang mga kandidato ng administrasyon dahil sa pandemya kundi mananalo po sila dahil sa kasagutan natin sa pandemya,” Roque said in a virtual presser on Tuesday, May 18.

“Kasama na po diyan iyong pagmamanage ng mga kaso ng COVID-19 at ‘yung magiging successful na vaccine rollout. Sana po malinaw ‘yan,” he added.

The Palace official, who earlier asked for President Rodrigo Duterte’s blessing for the 2019 senatorial candidacy, said he is not yet clear on whether or not he will run again for the 2022 elections.

Along with Roque, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo were also rumored to be part of Duterte’s 2022 senatorial picks.

But for Senator Sonny Angara, there should be an improved response against the pandemic before garnering favorable electoral results.

“If the opposite happens, then we could get an opposite result,” Angara said.

The Philippines has been experiencing the longest lockdown in the world since the onset of the pandemic, with a Wednesday tally of 1,159,071 total COVID-19 infections, 49,951 active cases, 1,089,613 recoveries, and 19,507 deaths.

In terms of vaccination, 3,299,470 individuals have received their vaccines against the disease, very far from the target of 70 million fully inoculated people for herd immunity.

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