President Rodrigo Duterte was only joking when he said Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go wanted to be president, Malacañang said on Friday.

“Palagi naman pong nagbibiro ang presidente para mayroong light moment,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.

Duterte on Thursday quipped that his longtime aide Go had told him to announce publicly his intention of running for the presidency.

In a statement, Go said he would only run for the presidency if Duterte would run as his vice president.

“I am very grateful for the trust given to me by the president. Salamat po sa tiwala pero alam naman po ng pangulo na hindi talaga ako interesado. Biro lang ng pangulo iyon,” Go said.

‘Not politicking’

The PDP-Laban party had been distributing a “unified manifesto” urging the 75-year-old Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, acting president of PDP-Laban, said on Friday the resolution was not authorized.

Despite Duterte’s recent statements, Roque said the administration had not been politicking.

“Hindi naman po because ang primary thrust pa rin ng gobyerno is this pandemic and that is why all members of the Cabinet were given the mandate to go and support the vaccination program of the government,” Roque said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro