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Push for Duterte vice presidency ‘just a draft,’ says House leader

/ 02:18 PM March 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker who is a member of the ruling PDP-Laban party on Friday said that a resolution calling for President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice presidency in the 2022 national elections is only a “draft” and has yet to be adopted by the entire party.

House Deputy Speaker Eric Martinez said several PDP-Laban members from Metro Manila and nearby provinces have already signed a resolution calling for Duterte to run for the vice president’s post next year.

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“Please do not be mistaken, this is a draft resolution. Hindi pa (this is not yet a) adopted resolution by the entire party,” Martinez said in an interview with reporters.

Martinez said the matter of resolving who will represent PDP-Laban in the 2022 polls will be decided in a “collective manner” by the members of the party.

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The lawmaker earlier said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the vice-chairman of the party, “is going around the country consulting with the PDP members” regarding the resolution.

Other party members informed

Some members of the ruling party appeared to have been caught by surprise after learning that such draft resolution was being passed among their party-mates without their knowledge.

PDP-Laban’s acting president Senator Manny Pacquiao was none too happy when he learned that such “unauthorized” draft is doing the rounds among party members.

“Hindi ko alam yun [resolution]. Hindi [ko] yun sanctioned bilang acting president ng partido. Hindi po yun authorized dahil ang focus po talaga ng partido ngayon e paano ba tayo makatulong ng mga tao na nagugutom ngayon,” Pacquiao said.

But Martinez said Cusi had informed key party leaders such as Senator Koko Pimentel, despite that he was not present during the meeting of the PDP-Laban members

“’Yung meeting na yun is a serious small group meeting. Collectively, we will have our formal assembly pero it’s a sentiment kasi kaya proposed resolution, draft resolution. So informed naman si Sen. Koko about the movements na ‘yun,” he said.

Is Pacquiao against Duterte running for VP?

Martinez, one of the original members of PDP-Laban, maintained there is nothing wrong in the ongoing “consultations” being held by some of the party’s local chapters in the provinces urging Duterte to run as their vice-presidential candidate in next year’s polls.

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The Valenzuela City congressman added that through this mechanism, they were also able to get the views of those at the grassroots level in relation to the implementation of government projects and its efforts to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that because of their consultations, it turned out that most PDP-Laban members are “satisfied” with the performance of the national government, especially in the areas of peace and order and the efforts against the pandemic.

Martinez added that their consultations also resulted in the issuance of various local resolutions urging Duterte to run as the party’s vice-presidential candidate next year to ensure the “continuity” of his projects and programs under the next administration.

The solon made the clarification after Pacquiao made statements highly critical of Cusi.

As party vice chairman, Cusi has expressed his full support to the resolution calling on Duterte to run as vice president under the party’s banner.

But according to Pacquiao, what his party mates are doing is “wrong.”

Pacquiao averred that instead of politicking, the party should instead focused their attention on helping the poor as “many are suffering now.”

His comments, however, raised the eyebrows of some members of the party, wondering if Pacquiao is against Duterte being drafted as the party’s vice presidential bet next year.

“Dapat nga matuwa s’ya sa resolusyon dahil ang PDP-Laban ang partido ng Pangulo, na kung saan malinaw na madadala ni Duterte ang buong slate ng lapian tungo sa tagumpay sa 2022,” said another party leader in Metro Manila.

They also challenged Pacquiao to be “honest” as regards his own political ambition next year.

“We ‘smell’ something that is not right in the statements of Sen. Pacquiao. It would be best for him to be straightforward about his political plans for next year so we can discuss it within the party,” they added.
 

EDV

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TAGS: 2022 national elections, PDP-Laban, Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Manny Pacquiao
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