MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has clarified that the idea of a Duterte-Duterte tandem for the upcoming 2022 national elections did not come from the administration.
During a press briefing on Friday (March 19), Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. said those in the government who support the said tandem are just expressing their own opinion. Roque maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate is to focus on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Hindi po galing sa gobyerno iyang Duterte-Duterte. Kung mayroon man pong taong gobyerno na nag-e-express niyan, iyan po ay personal na opinion nila dahil po ang mandato po ng President natin, tutok muna tayo sa pandemiya, tsaka na iyang pulitika na iyan (The Duterte-Duterte did not come from the government. If there are government people who are expressing their support, that is their personal opinion because the President’s mandate is to focus on the pandemic. Politics can wait),” Roque said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said the tandem is “a bit too much” saying that the Philippines is not Davao City.
“The Philippines is not Davao City. If they can do that in Davao City, I don’t think Filipinos are ready for a Davao City-like political situation or arrangement. I don’t think so,” he said in an interview.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Party (LP) still has no official stand on the national elections. LP President Senator Francis Pangilinan said it is better to focus on fighting the pandemic.
“Wala pang official stand ang Liberal Party (The Liberal Party still has no official stand yet). We are open to informal talks. But I think in the end, I would rather we focus first on how to overcome the current problem of COVID management and the spread and we can talk about politics maybe 2 to 3 months before the deadline of filing,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)