MANILA – Senatorial candidate Rafael “Raffy” Alunan III said he had reasons to decline President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to re-install him as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Alunan, who was backed by Duterte in the 2016 elections, said the president then told him not to run in the senatorial polls. But Alunan said he had other plans.
“To be very fair to him, I said ‘I was an appointed official the whole time I was in government. Now I want to find out if I’m electable,” Alunan, who previously served as DILG and tourism secretary, told ANC’s Headstart.
Alunan served as DILG secretary under former president Fidel Ramos while he steered the Tourism department under late president Corazon Aquino.
Before the 2019 campaign he ran for senator in the 2016 elections where he placed 26th.
Alunan said the campaign was a way to again “introduce himself” to the public after a decades-old hiatus from government office.
“I am running to introduce myself, [I was told that] you are gone for 20 years, you need three years to build the winning runway,” he said.
While out of the public trail, Alunan served in the public sector, a feat he recognizes to be his edge in the 2019 midterm polls.
“I’ve been exposed to the infrastructure development, to the beverage industry, to the textile industry, international trading. In the public sector I was engaged in tourism development governance and interior, and it was not just titles. I was hands on and I was accomplished,” Alunan said.
“I will be bringing with me my experience my total understanding my perspective to be able to get solutions applied because we have failed in implementation,” he added.