Presidential aspirant Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Tuesday said he would push for President Rodrigo Duterte to be elected head of the Senate should he run and win a seat in the chamber in the 2022 elections.
Dela Rosa, who is running for president, said he was looking forward to working with his former boss with the 76-year-old former chief executive as Senate president. He was Duterte's national police chief and co-architect of his war on drugs
"Napakaganda, magkakaroon ng teamwork ang Senado at ang Malacañang para sa kabutihan ng ating bansa," Dela Rosa told CNN Philippines.
Duterte's partymates in PDP-Laban had been convincing him to join the senatorial race in the 2022 elections after the initial plan for him to run for vice president did not materialize.
Dela Rosa said the party's call for Duterte to run for senator under PDP-Laban was not self-serving on his part to secure his win in the presidential race. Duterte has remained popular among Filipinos that even as his net satisfaction ratings fell in September, it remained within "very good" levels.
"Huwag nating sabihin na pinipilit natin tumakbo si Pangulong Duterte para lumakas yung lineup ng PDP-Laban.... Kahit wala si Pangulong Duterte, they will win through their own merits," he said.
If Duterte runs for senator, he will have to be a substitute for one of the senatorial bets of PDP-Laban like what he did when he ran for president in 2016.
Lawmakers have been pushing for a ban on substitution due to withdrawal of the original candidate, saying that it puts the election process in a "mockery."
PDP-Laban maintained that there is nothing wrong with it, as it is a "legal" option that allows parties to decide on their final candidates.