recalls Duterte’s statements prior to VP run announcement

CHEERS TO for a report recalling President Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated statements in the past about his desire to leave public office because of his age and fatigue, thus giving context to Duterte’s change of mind to run for the office of the vice president in 2022. The report also discussed the implications of Duterte’s winning his bid for the post. 

President Duterte confirmed his plan to run for VP during his Talk to the Nation last August 24. Earlier on the same day, Duterte’s PDP-Laban released a statement, saying Duterte “accepted the endorsement” and “agreed to make the sacrifice and heed the clamor of the people.”

Media reported this as breaking news, following up with reports which cited sources who either supported or questioned Duterte’s decision. presented the story with reference to its legality and constitutionality. Furthermore, it called attention to his previous statements during the last five years and on the burdens of the presidency. Most importantly, the report also noted Duterte’s own admission that he was avoiding prosecution in running for vice president.’s Kurt Dela Peña traced the President’s ‘I’m tired’ narrative since 2018, with a total of ten statements on a timeline. He also included the circumstances surrounding the occasion of the statements. 

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Some of Duterte’s previous statements, Screenshot from

Dela Peña interviewed Prof. Jean Franco of the UP Department of Political Science, who warned that Duterte’s run for VP may be “one of the strongest challenges to the democratic institutions” since the ouster of Marcos in 1986. Franco added that if Go or Sara went for the highest position, they would only keep the “political field” to themselves, which is alarming seeing “how the administration bungled the COVID-19 response.”

The report concluded with other insights from other academics who agreed that elections in democracies should not only offer clear party programs but also alternatives and new options for voters. They urged PDP-Laban, particularly the Cusi-led faction to focus on leadership and not only on perceived popularity. 

As the election season approaches, media should sharpen its critical eye, provide quick and prompt analysis that checks political moves, exposing these as ways by which politicians protect their self-interest. Political developments should be interpreted and given the appropriate context, so people can assess whether candidates deserve their publicity in mainstream media, and ultimately, a vote for a seat in public office.