Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo said Monday he declined the offer of Sen. Manny Pacquiao's camp to run for vice president in the 2022 elections, saying he could not afford to go against his friend, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Tulfo, who is running for senator, said he "courteously" turned down the offer to be Pacquiao's running mate, a slot that went to Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza.
"Sinabi ko na napakabilis naman yata kaagad yung paglundag," he told ANC in an interview.
"Sabi ko isa pa, hindi ko pwedeng banggain si Pangulong Duterte dahil siya ay kaibigan ko. Isa pa, nandiyan si Sen. Tito Sotto na hindi ko rin pwedeng banggain. Pumayag naman sila," he added.
The 76-year-old Duterte initially said he would run for vice president under the PDP-Laban party, only to endorse his long-time aide, Sen. Bong Go, for the position. Sotto is running for vice president with Sen. Panfilo Lacson as president.
Tulfo eventually became part of Pacquiao's senatorial slate in the 2022 elections.
While he values his friendship with the President, Tulfo does not necessarily agree with Duterte's policies such as the closure of ABS-CBN and the government's war on drugs.
The broadcaster recognized that thousands of ABS-CBN's employees lost their jobs due to the network's closure. He also believes that the drug war was a "failure" in the sense that the President did not meet his campaign deadline to end the drug scourge in three to six months.
Duterte is facing an investigation before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over his bloody war on drugs. If he is liable, Tulfo believes the President should be made accountable before Filipinos and not before a foreign body.
"Hindi ba mas maganda kung tayo na lang mismo ang maglilitis sa kapwa natin Pilipino dito sa ating bayan? May kakayahan naman siguro tayong litisin yan kung ano man ang kaso against him," he said.
"Let the Filipino people decide and let the Filipino people ang maghusga sa ating presidente o dating presidente by that time," he added.
Tulfo topped the list of preferred senatorial candidates in the recent Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys conducted last month.
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