PDP- Laban Cusi wing: ‘Bato’ not best presidential bet, but he’s available
MANILA, Philippines — The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Monday admitted that its chosen standard bearer, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is not the best it can offer as presidential candidate but he is the one available.
The party said it had wanted to push for Senator Bong Go as its presidential candidate with President Rodrigo Duterte as running mate but the senator rejected the nomination and ran for vice president instead.
“He [Dela Rosa] is the one who is available. We’re not saying he is the best because originally we were pushing for Senator Bong Go,” PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel when asked if Dela Rosa is the best candidate the party has to offer as president.
Matibag said Dela Rosa was only an alternative for Go, whom they thought was the “most qualified” in the aspect of the “continuity” of President Duterte’s legacy.
He also defended Dela Rosa’s track record as a politician, having only been a senator for less than three years.
He also cited the senator’s stint as the chief of the Philippine National Police under the Duterte administration and his “military service as a policeman.”
“Hindi naman natin siguro pwedeng sukatin ‘yung qualification o kakayahan ng tao based on how long he is in a position as a politician,” Matibag said.
(We cannot measure the qualification or the capability of the person based on how long he is in a position as a politician.)
“Nakita naman natin na he rose from mababang position and now he’s a senator,” he added.
(We saw how he rose from the ranks, and now he’s a senator.)
The PDP-Laban official said that the decision to pick Senator Dela Rosa followed the party’s process and had President Duterte’s endorsement.
The PDP-Laban Cusi action earlier nominated and proclaimed Senator Bong Go as its presidential candidate with President Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate in the 2022 elections.
In a surprise move on Oct. 2, however, Go instead filed his certificate of candidacy for the vice president, while President Duterte announced that he will retire from politics at the end of his term next year.
Dela Rosa filed his certificate of candidacy for president on October 8, whose name has never been floated by the political group as a possible presidential bet and did not grace any survey on Filipinos’ list of their preferred next president, filed for his COC to run for president.
It’s ‘Bato – Go’, but…
Matibag said the political group is also already preparing to push through with Senator Dela Rosa’s presidential bid but said nothing is yet final until Nov. 15 since substitution is allowed until then.
“Itaga mo na sa bato na si Senator Bato na ang kandidato natin na presidente ng PDP-Laban pero from today to Nov. 15 ‘wag mo muna ibaon ‘yung taga sa bato kasi the Comelec allows substitution,” he said.
(Cast it in stone that Senator Bato is the PDP-Laban’s candidate for president. But nothing is final from today to Nov. 15 because the Comelec allows substitution.)
“We are prepared to have a candidate na Bato-Go. May preparations na kami, naghahanda rin kami so we are ready to push for a Bato-Go tandem in 2022,” he added.
(We have preparations, we are preparing so we are ready to push for a Bato-Go tandem in 2022.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.