MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he's still considering a vice-presidential run in the 2022 elections, again signalling his intention to stay in a top post after his term ends next year.
"Consider me a candidate for the vice-presidency at this time, maybe to maintain equilibrium for all," he told reporters at a train station inauguration Thursday (July 1).
Mr Duterte said a vice-presidential run would also help him retain political leverage. "It's political posturing, so they would not treat you badly even if I'm on my way out."
The Philippine leader, who's been hinting at a shot for the second-highest elected post for a few weeks, however, said that he will only run "if there's space" for him and if his allies such as House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez won't run for vice-president.
Mr Duterte's political party earlier urged him to seek the vice-presidency after his single term ends in 2022.
His possible candidacy has raised legal questions about how it could circumvent a ban on presidential term limits and has also been viewed as a way for him to remain immune from criminal charges.
Under Philippine law, a president can only be elected for one six-year term.
Mr Duterte also hit back at boxer-turned-Senator Manny Pacquiao, a possible presidential contender in 2022, who earlier criticised his government for alleged corruption.
"When you are a champion in boxing, it does not mean to say that you are a champion in politics, so he is blabbering his mouth," Mr Duterte said of Mr Pacquiao.