Duterte not interested in term extension – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020   •   346

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte is not interested in extending his term of office amid talks on the proposed postponement of the May 2022 national elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will leave it to the Filipino people to decide on whether to delay the next polls that will pick his successor.

“The president is not interested in extending his term. And he leaves it to the Filipino people, the sovereign people, to decide if they want to amend the Constitution to postpone the elections,” Roque said during a televised press briefing.

Duterte’s term will end on June 30, 2022.

Roque said the postponement of the 2022 elections is only possible through the amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

House Deputy Majority Leader Mikey Arroyo earlier raised the proposal for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to consider postponing the May 2022 elections due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease.

The Palace said the country still has time to prepare for the next elections and that it could learn from the examples of other countries that conducted elections even during the pandemic.

The Constitution mandates the conduct of the presidential and vice presidential, senators and House representatives’ elections every second Monday of May every six years.

Comelec earlier said the matter of postponing the polls is not a call of the poll body, but rather, up to the president and the Congress.

Malacañang also said it will let the Commission on Elections decide on the system it will use to conduct the next elections, including the political campaign period, following proposals to use mail-in and postal voting to ensure the health and safety of voters.

“The decision lies with the Comelec at hindi po natin pinangungunahan ang Comelec pero as I said, baka po kailangan po ang pamamaraan ng pag-conduct ng election,” Roque said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte says daughter Sara is not running for president in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his position that he will not support the idea of his eldest daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, joining the presidential race in the 2022 elections despite the much urgings of their supporters.

Duterte made the remark during a situational briefing for the government response to the onslaught of storm ‘Auring’ in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday.

“Inday Sara is not running. I have really put my foot down. Naaawa ako sa anak ko,” he said.

“Ang pulitika dito sa atin, kababuyan,” he added.

The chief executive issued the statement after Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel urged him to convince either Mayor Sara or his former aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to be his successor and continue his administration’s achievements when his term ends in 2022.

This came after Sara Duterte emerged as the top presidential and vice presidential preference for 2022 elections in a survey recently conducted by OCTA Research Team.

The poll showed that the president’s daughter came on top after 22% of the respondents picked her to be country’s next president.

Following Duterte is Sen. Grace Poe with 13%, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos with 12% each, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 11%.

In the vice presidential race, Duterte also emerged on top after getting 14% of the survey votes. Moreno and Pacquiao got 11% each while Poe scored 10%.

Sara Duterte earlier thanked her supporters for their trust and confidence but reiterated that she is not interested in seeking the country’s highest post.

She also advised her supporters to stop mounting tarpaulins and billboards, as well as staging motorcades and other activities for her supposed 2022 candidacy.

Meanwhile, the president also warned the public against former Senator Antonio Trillanes III, one of his administration’s staunch critics.

“Be careful of trillanes, magbantay kayo. He will sell you to the devil. ‘Pag yan ang nakaupo. Patay, walang hiya yan. Sa totoo lang,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Sara Duterte tops OCTA survey on 2022 presidential, vice presidential preference

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte emerged as the top preference for both President and Vice President in the 2022 elections based on an independent survey conducted by OCTA Research released on Monday.

In the poll, which was conducted from January 26 to February 1, OCTA Research said the president’s daughter came on top after 22% of the respondents picked her to be the country’s next president.

OCTA’s Tugon ng Masa National Survey was conducted with 1,200 respondents across the country using face-to-face invterviews.

Following Duterte is Sen. Grace Poe with 13%, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos with 12% each, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 11%.

Vice President Leni Robredo lagged behind as she got 5% in the survey.

In the vice-presidential race, Duterte also emerged on top after getting 14% of the survey votes. Moreno and Pacquiao got 11% each, while Poe scored 10%.

OCTA Research team said the results of the survey are expected to change when the official list of candidates for 2022 polls has been released by the Commission on Elections.

Liberal Party still considering Robredo as presidential bet in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is among those being considered by the Liberal Party to run as its presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, the political party’s president said on Thursday.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, however, stressed that the party has yet to finalize its decision on the matter.

“Siya ay mataas na opisyal ng partido at pinakamataas na elected official ng partido so she (Robredo) is also being considered,” he said.

Robredo serves as Liberal Party’s chairperson being the highest elected official in the party.

“But she herself has said na wala siyang desisyon, marami pang pwedeng mangyari. But in the meantime, we just focus on how we can help address this pandemic and the economic crisis,” he added.

Pangilinan also said that political issues “can wait” as the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, supporters of Robredo launched an online petition urging her to run for president in the upcoming elections.

The petition called “I am ready for Leni” aims to gather 25,000 signatories.

Robredo has yet to issue a comment on the campaign initiated by her supporters but she has earlier said that it is too early to talk about 2022 polls and that she would rather focus on projects providing assistance for those affected by the pandemic. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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