President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso (File photo)

MANILA – The offer of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso to adopt President Rodrigo Duterte as his party's fourth bet for the Senate is proof of the latter’s many accomplishments, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made this remark after Domagoso said he believed Duterte was a qualified candidate for the position and that he is also willing to adopt him as the fourth senatorial candidate of his Aksyon Demokratiko Party.

“Ito po’y patunay sa maraming nagawa si Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang panunungkulan at sa marami niyang ginagawa at gagawin pa. At patunay ito sa kumpiyansa ng marami sa ating mga kababayan sa kanya na pag binigyan po siya nag pagkakataon na makapagpatuloy ng kanyang serbisyo sa Senado, ay maipagpatuloy niya ang lahat ng mga ito (This is proof that President Duterte has accomplished a lot during his term and in the future. This also proves the confidence of many of our citizens in him and that if he is given another chance to continue his service in the Senate, he will do it),” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Nograles, however, refused to say whether or not Duterte will accept Domagoso’s offer.

“Ayaw ko rin pong pangunahan kung ano ang mangyayari sa susunod na araw at sa susunod na buwan. At ayaw ko rin pangunahan ano magiging desisyon ng iba’t-ibang mga kandidato na tumatakbo at iba’t-ibang mga partido na nais pang mag-endorse kay Pangulong Duterte (I don’t want to preempt what could happen in the following days or months. And I don’t want to preempt the decision of other candidates running and other parties that also want to endorse President Duterte),” he said.

Should a party eventually decide to adopt Duterte or forge an alliance, Nograles said it remains to be seen.

Duterte filed his candidacy for senator under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), an allied party of the ruling Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).

“Siyempre, si Pangulong Duterte ay tumatakbo sa partido ng PDDS at sinusuporthan din po siya ng PDP-Laban. Kung mayroon mang mangyayari pagkatapos nito na mga pag-adopt o di kaya magkaroon ng alliances, ayoko po pangunahan kung anong mangyayari sa mga susunod pang mga araw, linggo, at maging sa susunod na buwan (Of course the President is running under the PDDS and is also being supported by PDP-Laban. If there should be any move to adopt or forge an alliance, I do not want to preempt what could happen in the following days, weeks, and months),” Nograles added.

In an interview with reporters in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Domagoso said he will vote for Duterte as senator due to his "many accomplishments."

“I’m going to vote for him personally, I’m going to endorse him kung papayag siya, I’ll be honored. I’ll be humbled and honored na umoo si Pangulong Duterte. Nakuha ko nga siyang iboto, hindi ko pa ba makuhang siya’y i-adopt (I will vote for him, why can’t I adopt him, too?),” Domagoso said.

He said it would be an “honor” should Duterte accept his invitation for him to be an adopted senatorial candidate of his party but noted that the President is free to decide whether he would accept it or not.

“Let’s give credit where credit is due. President Duterte has so many accomplishments. And I believe that he can be an effective senator since through legislation, he can ensure that his legacy will be institutionalized,” he added. (PNA)