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Duterte ‘resisting’ VP bid but not yet saying no, says Palace

By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: PCOO

Malacañang on Thursday said even President Rodrigo Duterte is “resisting” to run as vice president in the 2022 elections, the latter has “yet to say no” on the matter.

"The President's words are clear. I don’t need to construe. He is saying ayaw niya, pero hindi pa niya sinasabing hindi,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online Palace briefing.

Roque said there is no legal issue if Duterte will file a certificate of candidacy on a later date just like what the chief executive did during the 2015 elections when he ran as a substitute presidential candidate.

"The Omnibus Election Code allows for that," Roque said, referring to his remark during an interview over ANC that the President will reveal his future plans by December.

His statements came after Duterte told Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in an interview over the SMNI network that he is ready to retire rather than gunning for the vice presidential derby next year.

“Mahirap yan Pastor kasi mag-retire na ako and this time, ako ang mamili ng presidente, tapos ‘pag manalo sabihin nila, ano lang yan, perpetuate yourself in power. So nagreresist ako,” he said.

“Ako naman, I’m ready for retirement,” he added.

However, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) Secretary-General Melvin Matibag believes that Duterte will still consider candidacy for the second highest elective post in the country.

"Ang linaw naman nung sinabi niya, I will resist. Hindi naman niya sinabi na ‘I will reject’," Matibag said.

But for Taguig-Pateros Representative and Duterte’s 2016 running-mate Alan Peter Cayetano, the 76-year-old leader should not run next year and be an “elder statesman” instead.