President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he would run for vice president in 2022, an unprecedented move in Philippine politics that will change race for the country's second highest post.
The 76-year-old leader said his vice presidential run would allow him to "continue the crusade" against illegal drugs, insurgency and criminality, the centerpieces of his administration.
"I may not have the power to give the direction or guidance but I can always express my views in public for whatever it may be worth in the coming days," he said.
Prior to Duterte's announcement of his plans for 2022, at least four personalities have expressed their openness to run for vice president.
Who are the President's possible contenders next year?
1. Senate President Vicente Sotto III
Sotto was the first candidate to formally confirm his vice presidential bid in 2022 as the running mate of Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
The Senate leader previously said that it doesn't matter to him if Duterte or any other politician would run for vice president as well.
"Okay lang kahit sino ang tumakbo. Siguro naman meron din silang programang ipe-present. But it does not have anything to do with my proposal or my offer as an alternative to the people if we do decide," he said.
2. Former Defense Sec. Gibo Teodoro
Teodoro, who ran for president in 2010, flew to Davao City back in June and met with Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, raising questions whether he would run for vice president as the President's daughter's potential running mate.
He later said he would "gladly" run as Duterte-Carpio's vice president should she decide to vie for the presidency.
"I think she (Duterte-Carpio) would be a good candidate, and I'm willing to support her, to be her vice president if she so chooses," he added.
3. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez
Romualdez's name came up after Duterte said he would support the Leyte congressman should he run for vice president next year.
He thanked Duterte for his endorsement, adding that while he was keeping his options "open," it was not a good decision to run against the incumbent president.
Romualdez also said that he was open to running for senator next year.
4. Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
Gatchalian, who is in his first term as senator, announced in July that he was open to running for vice president.
He later said that he would only seek the vice presidency if he would be Duterte-Carpio's running mate.