Braving COVID threat, Cusi-wing PDP-Laban members to physically attend convention
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the alarming rise of COVID-19 infections in the country, some 400 members of the ruling party PDP-Laban, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, are expected to physically attend the national convention to be held on Wednesday, where they will nominate their candidates for the 2022 elections.
Other members of the party will attend virtually. Cusi said the party opted to hold a hybrid gathering to comply with the requirements in nominating their candidates.
PDP-Laban members, especially local leaders, also wanted to see the party members’ national leaders in person, “not just on video,” he added.
“It is a process that we need to comply with, we need to tell the people what the party is doing and give them the option, introducing our proposed leaders in the next administration,” Cusi said in an online media forum.
To comply with COVID-19 health protocols, Cusi said the political group had to transfer the venue from Bulacan under a restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to Pampanga, which is under a looser general community quarantine (GCQ) which allows gatherings.
“Marami kaming measures that we are doing to make sure that we are compliant and we don’t risk the health of those attending,” he said.
(We implemented many measures to make sure we are compliant with health protocols and we don’t risk the health of those attending.)
Attendees are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result within 48 hours prior to the event. All of them should also be fully vaccinated thus they should present their vaccination cards.
On top of this, all attendees will be subject to antigen testing on the venue itself.
PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag said the program is expected to last for about two to three hours.
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya assured that the PDP-Laban’s convention will not be a “superspreader event” as the party “doubled up” health protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
“The event tomorrow will not be a super spreader event. We will be doubling up our protocols. These are not just enforced by the IATF but even the PSG, who are securing the President, that all regulations will be fully complied with,” he said in the same briefing.
Party chairman President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go, whom Cusi dubbed as “main characters of the event,” are expected to attend the national convention.
During the event, PDP-Laban members will officially nominate their candidates for the 2022 elections, including its senatorial slate.
The political party earlier partially revealed its senatorial slate, which included:
-House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta
-Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo
-Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gringo Honasan
-Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade
-Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar
Cusi said its list of senate bets will all be PDP-Laban members and it will not field guest candidates. The party’s senatorial slate will likewise not be allowed to be guest candidates of other political parties.
He assured that their candidates are “competent, informed, and will be able to uplift the quality of life” of Filipino citizens.
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