MEMBERS of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to run for the Office of the Vice President.
They also want the Davao City native Chief Executive, who is known by his nicknames Rody and Digong, to pick his Malacañang successor that the party will field as a presidential candidate in next year’s elections.
Members of the administration bloc made the decision during their national council meeting in Cebu on Monday, May 31, 2021.
In their resolution, PDP-Laban party members, led by vice chairman Alfonso Cusi, said they are asking Duterte to run in the vice presidential race to ensure the continuity of the current administration’s “10 Point Socio-Economic Agenda,” especially now that the country is still grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
PDP-Laban acting secretary general Melvin Matibag said assuming Duterte will run for the office of the vice president, the President has the great weight in choosing his running mate, the presidential candidate.
The members, Matibag said, will honor Duterte’s decision.
Matibag declined to name the potential presidential candidates that Duterte could choose, saying he would not want to second guess the President’s decision.
However, he assures that PDP-Laban has a lot of members and personalities who are qualified to run for the Office of the President.
Also, the party’s vice president for international affairs Raul Lambino said they have not emphasized in the resolution that Duterte can only choose within PDP-Laban.
Lambino emphasized that whoever Duterte will choose as the party’s presidential candidate, the party members will honor the decision as long as the candidate embodies the principles of PDP-Laban.
He said they would not limit the choices of Duterte if ever he decides to run for the vice president’s office as PDP-Laban has alliances with other political parties.
If Duterte refuses to accept the clamor of PDP-Laban members, Lambino said they will hold a party convention to select their presidential and vice presidential bets, and their slate for the senatorial race.
Any member can present himself or herself and be nominated as presidential or vice presidential bet of the party, said Lambino.
Aside from egging on Duterte to run for Vice President, some members of the administration bloc are also calling for the ouster of their acting party president, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, from the party due to allegations that the senator is leading a faction to kick out Cusi.
During the national council meeting, Cusi referred his fellow partymates’ demand to the secretariat, so Pacquiao would be afforded due process.
Matibag also answered the call of replacing Pacquiao as the party president.
He said by law, the presidency of the party lasts two years. This is the reason PDP-Laban will hold a national assembly on July 17 to elect a new set of officers in the party council.
Rumors abound that Pacquiao is interested in running for President in next year’s national elections, but some PDP-Laban members are pushing for Duterte to pick his loyal aide Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go or his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as the possible running mate from Hukbong Pagbabago Partylist. (KFD)