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Duterte Says 'Count Me Out' of VP Race if Leyte's Romualdez Runs

The President breaks his silence.
by Arianne Merez
Jun 16, 2021
Photo/s: Presidential Photo
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President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday addressed talks about a possible vice presidential bid for him in 2022, saying he had promised support to House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Duterte said he would not run for vice president should Romualdez, who represents the first district of Leyte, seek the post next year. Romualdez is a nephew of Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, whose family supports Duterte.

"'Pag tumakbo siya (Romualdez), count me out but I will support him because I promised him," the President said in a speech.

Duterte was referring to the pledge he made Romualdez when he brokered the term-sharing deal for the House Speakership between Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

In 2019, the President asked Romualdez to inhibit from seeking the House speakership and promised his support instead should the latter run for vice president in 2022. Romualdez heeded President Duterte's advice then, leading to the term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and Velasco.

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With the promise, Duterte said it would be "useless" to discuss a vice presidential run for him.

Allies of the President such as his chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo have floated a possible Duterte-Duterte tandem for 2022 with the chief executive's eldest daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio as the bet to succeed the 76-year-old leader.

"Pag hindi tumakbo si Romualdez, wala rin ako siguro," Duterte said. "Everybody wants a good rest after..."

Duterte has repeatedly said he is against his daughter running for president.

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