Malacañang said Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte is not endorsing Senate President Vicente Sotto III for vice president in the 2022 elections.
In his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte said Tito Sotto could be a good vice president.
“With due respect to Senator Sotto, who is also running for the vice presidency, he is a capable man. A good man and a Filipino,” Duterte said.
However, Roque clarified this and said, “Hindi naman po [ito endorsement]. I think kinikiliti lang niya si Senate President, kasi naroroon siya and they had, of course, an occasion to meet, dahil siya iyong sumalubong sa Kongreso,” Roque said during an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita.
(This is not an endorsement. He is just teasing the Senate President who was there, and they had a chance to meet.)
“Kumbaga, he is just encouraging Senate President to pursue his political plans. Dahil sa demokrasya naman importante na mayroong pagpipilian ang taumbayan,” he added.
(It was more of an encouragement to the Senate president to pursue his political plans. Because in a democracy, people need choices.)
Duterte not endorsing Tito Sotto for VP in 2022 elections
Meanwhile, in a message to reporters, Tito Sotto said he “is humbled by the words of the President. I thank him profusely for mentioning me.”
Sotto has confirmed he will run for vice president in the 2022 polls, with Senator Panfilo Lacson as the presidential bet.
Last month, Tito Sotto said he is unbothered if President Rodrigo Duterte runs for president in Eleksyon 2022.
“If I have finished my presentation and we are ready with a program for the vice president, I will not look at the other candidates who are running. As I said, and that’s my statement, it will have no beget on my resolve,” Sotto said during a virtual interview with reporters when asked if he would still seek the vice presidency in case Duterte vies for the same post.
“In other words, welcome to the club… okay lang kahit sino ang tumakbo, siguro naman mayroon din silang programang iprepresenta. Nasa taumbayan ‘yun kung sino ang tingin nilang makakagawa ng mabuti sa posisyon na ‘yun,” he added.