By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Rappler

President Rodrigo Duterte seems to be endorsing his chief legal counsel, Attorney Salvador Panelo, to run as a senator in the 2022 national elections.

In his address on Monday night, Duterte praised Panelo for his intellect and good work ethic.

Recognizing Panelo to report before the members of the Cabinet, Duterte said: “Now I’m sure that Atty. Panelo, Senator Panelo or Atty. Sec Panelo pala, my favorite candidate for senator. Tatakbo ka ba? Sabihin mo na para malaman ng tao. Mukha atang tatakbo.”

Panelo then responded: “Siguro lalakad na lang tayo papunta Senado para hindi tayo madapa. Lakad na lang, hindi takbo.”

The presidential legal counsel has been joining virtually during Duterte’s Talk to the People program giving “legal” recommendations to the President in a bid to prevent quarantine violations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from joining the weekly national address, Panelo is also running a daily “COUNTERPOINT” documentary in which he is expressing his opinions and responding to criticisms from the government’s critics.

Ending his praise, Duterte said he appreciated Panelo’s strictness and discipline during his work.

“Bilib ako sa ‘yo. Bilib ako sa utak mo,” the President said.

“You are the presidential adviser, legal adviser of the president, and you given many opinions that I was able to use.  By the grace of God, they were all true,” he added.