‘Duterte can be elder statesman, no need to seek office to retain influence’

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano suggested that President Rodrigo Duterte can be an elder statesman in the same vein as former President Fidel Ramos, saying the Chief Executive does not need an elective position to continue influencing government.

This after Duterte voiced his interest in running for senator while the Commission on Elections’s November 15 deadline for candidate substitution approaches.

Nasabi ko naman dati na kung siya ay magba-vice president or senador, nandyan naman yung suporta, pero kung ako ang tatanungin, kung ang turing naman niya sa ‘kin ay kaibigan o parang anak, alam mo nakita ko yung nangyari kay FVR, naging elder statesman,” Cayetano said, referring to former President Ramos by his initials.

(I’ve said this before that whether he decides to run for vice-president or senator, I’ll support him, but if it were up to me, since he treats me as a friend or like a son to him, I see he could become like FVR, an elder statesman.)

So minsan hindi mo kailangan magkaroon ng posisyon para maging napaka-influential, and I don’t doubt he will continue to be influential in the days to come,” he added.

(So sometimes you don’t really need a position to be very influential, and I don’t doubt he will continue to be influential in the days to come.)

Cayetano made the suggestion during an interview with the media after a meeting with pastors and church leaders in Lucena City, Quezon on Saturday, November 6, 2021.

He also recommended that the President seek God’s guidance on his next steps.

“I wish him the best, ipagdasal niya lang ng mabuti (he should pray fervently about it),” Cayetano said.

Duterte had previously expressed his intent to run for vice-president weeks before the filing period for certificates of candidacy in October, but instead chose to endorse the vice-presidential run of long-time aide Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

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