October 27, 2021 at 10:50 pm
PDP-Laban is convincing President Rodrigo Duterte to run for the Senate instead and be the campaign manager for administration bets Senators Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go in next year’s national elections, party president Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi confirmed Wednesday.
In a statement, Cusi confirmed the efforts of the ruling party to urge the President to run for senator instead of Vice President, which he gave up in favor of longtime aide Go.
In a radio interview, Cusi said that if Duterte runs for the Senate, he DOcould also campaign for Dela Rosa, his first national police chief who PDP Laban claimed is gaining traction in recent surveys.
Go, meanwhile, continued to dispel rumors he is clearing the way for his substitution in the 2022 elections, stressing he is “100 percent” committed to slug it out for vice president.
In an interview right after the launch of the 145th Malasakit Center at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Quezon City, Go strongly rejected speculations there will be substitution in his case.
However, the senator admitted it is still his party, the PDP-Laban, which will decide on this matter.
“I have a (political) party. So, it means I cannot decide in my own. When President Duterte decided not to run, it was the party’s decision that I run for Vice President. And that decision of President was respected, that is why I accepted the challenge,” related Go.
Duterte initially accepted the PDP Laban nomination to run for Vice President, but later decided to withdraw with Go taking his place. Likewise, the ruling party fielded Sen. Dela Rosa as its presidential bet in a last-minute filing.
“Now, if the President would not run (for Vice President) because he is firm on his decision not to go back on his word, I said why not run for the Senate so he could bring change there? That will be good for the country,” Cusi said.
He reiterated that if President Duterte would change his mind and decide to run for Vice President, there is no problem for the PDP Laban to revert to its original plan of fielding the Go-Duterte tandem.
But as things stand, Cusi said PDP-Laban is inclined to support and promote the tandem of Senators Dela Rosa and Go.
“What is good is that we will offer to the public a candidate for President and Vice President who both believe in the program of government that we are pushing and continue the ‘Build, Build, Build’ programs as well as the other programs that President Duterte has started,” Cusi said.
With Duterte in the Senate, Cusi said the PDP Laban can continue to push all the reforms needed in the legislature.
The President has been at odds with the Senate’s prolonged inquiry in the government’s procurement processes in its pandemic response and has barred Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings.
“And, as I said, he will be our best campaign manager, during the campaign,” Cusi said.
This would definitely boost the Bato-Go tandem’s chances of winning, with Cusi stressing that President Duterte continues to enjoy a high approval rating.
The 2021 Pahayag Quarter 3 survey of a polling company said Duterte’s approval rating rebounded from 58% in Q2 to 60% in Q3.
In the same survey, Go was hailed again as the most trusted senator, earning the trust of 33.87 percent of 1,500 Filipinos who took part in the poll.
While Cusi admitted that Dela Rosa hasn’t created waves in recent surveys, he said PDP Laban is not worried at all.
“The others (rival presidential candidates) might have the advantages (for now) but it doesn’t mean he can’t catch up,” Cusi said, noting the former police chief is already “gaining mileage and traction.”
“Based on our studies and the recent surveys that we are seeing – his future is looking bright,” he said.
Meanwhile, when asked about Mayor Sara Duterte’s recent separate meetings with presidential aspirants Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Dela Rosa, Go indicated that it is the prerogative of the younger Duterte and her party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, to meet with key leaders and possibly support certain candidates in the elections.
“That’s part of our democratic process and she has a party. We also have our PDP-Laban and we respect each other,” said Go.
He considered as significant for any candidate any help coming from the Davao mayor and her HNP.
If the mayor of Davao decided to run for president, he would give his complete support, Go added.
During Marcos’ meeting with Sara, they talked about the help of HNP to the presidential bid of the former senator.
On the other hand, Dela Rosa also flew to Davao and met the presidential daughter to remind her that the Comelec’s deadline for the substitution of candidates is already near.
Although insisting that he is a serious candidate for president, Dela Rosa said he is ready to withdraw his candidacy should the presidential daughter decide to run for president.