Duterte acclaims Sotto: ‘He can become a good vice president’
Updated @ 1:52 a.m., July 27, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, in his final State of the Nation Address on Monday, hailed Senate President Vicente Sotto III as someone who “can become a good vice president.”
Duterte made the remark as he was explaining the reason why he “toyed with the idea” of vying for the vice presidency “if there is still space” for him in next year’s elections.
“The statistics I just learned the other night, that plenty of those who are in the middle class have been released from prison despite the fact that they are charged with trafficking which is non-bailable,” he said.
“And that is why I said I toyed with the idea, I said if there is still space, with due respect to the Senate President, he is a good man, he can become a good vice president,” he added.
“…with due respect to Senator Sotto, who’s also running for the vice presidency, he is a capable man, a good man, and a Filipino,” Duterte further said of the senator, who was seated behind him.
In a message to reporters, Sotto said he was “humbled by the words of the President.”
“I thank him profusely for mentioning me,” the Senate leader said.
Sotto was the first to announce his vice presidential bid in 2022. Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who will be gunning for the presidency, is Sotto’s running mate.
In a recent pre-election survey by Pulse Asia, Duterte led the list of Filipinos’ top bets for vice president with 18 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for him.
Sotto followed closely behind, ranking third with a 10 percent voter preference.
KGA / ATM
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