Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte believes that she wouldn’t have received the same number of votes she did as the country’s second highest official during the May 2022 elections if she ran for president instead.
She won with a massive 32,208,417 votes, or a staggering 22 million advantage over her nearest challenger, former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
This was even higher than that of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s 31,629,783 votes.
Asked about receiving the same number of votes for presidency during an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on SMNI, Duterte said it would be a different story if she had chosen to run as president.
“The way meron akong (I have)—the way that I have a limited understanding of how politics work, yes, I don’t think I would have performed as good with the votes as I did during the May 2022 elections when I ran for vice president kung tumakbo akong (if I run as) president,” she told Quiboloy, who was a huge supporter of her and Marcos.
Duterte’s and Marcos’ number of votes and advantage over their closest rivals are unprecedented in Philippine elections, garnering more than 50 percent of the votes tallied.
The former Davao City mayor originally intended to run for reelection but withdrew her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) at the last minute and ran for vice president in tandem with Marcos.
But she shared that she and the Chief Executive simply struck up a friendship when they campaigned.
“We were not friends before we ran together as a tandem. Naging maging kaibigan kami diyan sa kampanya na ‘yan (We became friends there in the campaign that) made us stronger, better individuals in the campaign . . . That is how we forge our friendship,” Duterte said.
She revealed that when Marcos and sister Imee first visited her before the filing of the COC, they simply asked what her plans were before discussing about family, life, and work.
But she also said it was “clear” that Marcos wouldn’t have run for president if she decided to seek the highest office.
“I also made clear to him as well na I’m not interested to run for president . . . Even running for VP was not planned,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, she also admitted having a hard time handling the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) at the same time, but what she did was form two teams to define their mandate and tasks separately.
“I brought with me success stories in Davao to share with other LGUs (local government units),” she said.
Duterte expressed gratitude to her fellow Dabawenyos “because they mold me in public service.”
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