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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday announced that he is not running for President, saying he does not want to divide the nation further at a time when unity is what is most needed.
In a media interview on October 1, the first day of filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for the 2022 elections, Cayetano said he wants to focus on crafting a five-year economic recovery plan that can be adopted by those who will run for the highest position.
“We did a lot of praying and discerning at syempre kailangan mong tanungin sa Panginoon at sa tao, ‘Ano ba’ng role mo?’” he said.
(We did a lot of praying and discerning and of course you have to ask the Lord and the people, ‘What is your role?’)
“Kasi mas importante naman yung role mo at yung maitutulong mo rather than the position,” he added.
(Your role and what you can do to help is more important than the position.)
The former House Speaker had previously said he was considering gunning for the country’s highest post. In the 2016 general elections, he was the running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was then the mayor of Davao City.
Cayetano said what he has discerned during the period of prayer and consultation is that his role is to draft a five-year plan that he can offer to the candidates for President.
Another role, he said, is to continue pushing for the 10K Ayuda bill which aims to provide P10,000 in direct stimulus to every Filipino family.
A third role is to “spark new ideas” in dealing with the pandemic “both in the areas of buhay, meaning health, at saka kabuhayan (and livelihood).”
“I really feel na kung ako’y tatakbong Pangulo mas makakadivide ito kaysa sa makakabring together,” he said.
(I really feel that if I run for President, it will be more divisive than unifying.)
Cayetano thanked his supporters — evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Muslims — who have been working hard to push for a faith-based leadership.
“We did our best but together with the family and close supporters, hindi po tayo tatakbo bilang Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas ngayong 2022,” he said.
(We did our best but together with the family and close supporters, I will not be running for President of the Republic of the Philippines in 2022.)
Cayetano said by not running, he can maintain open lines with the presidential candidates so that they can more easily adopt the five-year plan which he will be releasing in the next few days.
“Since hindi na isang presidentiable or isang tao lang ang nag-aadvocate, sana ito ay yakapin din at kunin din nung iba kasi kailangang kailangan natin ng plano,” he said.
(Since it’s not coming from a presidential candidate and it’s not just one person advocating it, I hope they will embrace it and accept it because we really really need a plan.)
Cayetano also said not running for President means he is more free to share new ideas — “whether ito ay mga best practices around the world or iniisip din ng mga Pilipino, you know, how to better respond sa nangyayari sa atin ngayong pandemya.”
(Whether these are best practices around the world or Filipinos are also thinking about them, you know, how to better respond to what’s happening to us during this pandemic.)###