Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Wednesday revealed that his PDP-Laban faction had been convincing President Rodrigo Duterte to run for senator in 2022.

Duterte recently backed out of his plan to pursue the vice presidency and announced that he would retire from politics after his presidency ends.

“Kung talagang hindi po tatakbo si pangulo dahil talagang decided na siyang ayaw na niyang tumakbo at ayaw na niyang sirain iyong salita niya, sabi ko, ‘Okay, takbo ka na lang ng senator para makapagdala ka ng pagbabago d’yan sa Senado,'” Cusi told reporters.

Cusi’s PDP-Laban faction has named Sen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa as its standard-bearer and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as its vice-presidential bet for the 2022 polls.

The energy secretary admitted that de la Rosa did not prepare for a presidential campaign.

Adding Duterte to the ruling party’s senatorial lineup would help boost their bets’ chances of winning, Cusi said.

“[Duterte] will be our best campaign manager during the campaign,” he said.

During the certificate for candidacy filing earlier this month, Duterte said he would no longer seek a national post as many Filipinos believed it was a violation of the Constitution.

“And so, in obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say, sa mga kababayan ko, sundin ko ang gusto niyo. And today, I announce my retirement from politics. Salamat po sa inyong lahat,” he said.

For the 2022 elections, parties may still substitute their candidates until Nov. 15. John Ezekiel J. Hirro