PDP-Laban Cusi wing insists not waiting for other presidential candidates
MANILA, Philippines — The ruling PDP-Laban party said on Friday that the it is firm with the candidacy of its standard-bearers, Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go, and is not waiting for the anyone to take their places.
Melvin Matibag, the secretary-general of the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, said that dela Rosa and Go remain to be their party candidates for president and vice president and are not mere placeholders for the 2022 national elections.
“Wala po, sabi ko nga if you are basing your question to my answer today, wala po kaming hinihintay,” Matibag said when asked during the Friday News forum whether the party is waiting for another possible candidate for the national elections.
(None. If you are basing your question on my answer today, we are not waiting for anyone.)
“If you’re asking me, I’ll base my answer on the present situation which is today, ang isasagot ko, I’m certain that it’s one hundred percent sure that our tandem is Bato-Go, president and vice president,” he added.
Matibag, however, said the party is prepared for any changes that might happen before or on November 15.
Under the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) rules for the 2022 elections, substitutions for a candidate for national or local posts can be filed until November 15.
“Nakahanda po kami lagi kung ano man ang magiging pagbabago o changes pa na mangyayari bago mag-November 15 o on November 15,” Matibag said.
(We are ready for anything that may happen on or before November 15.)
The PDP-Laban faction earlier surprised the public for fielding Senator Dela Rosa, whose name was never floated and has not even graced preferred presidential candidates in recent surveys, as its standard-bearer.
Dela Rosa earlier admitted that his decision to run for president was finalized about two hours before the period of filing certificates of candidacy closed on October 8. Earlier, he claimed that it was all part of their party strategy to avert criticism.
This spurred speculations that Dela Rosa is only a “placeholder” for other presidential bets, particularly Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Despite this, Matibag denied that the senator was a “last-minute” candidate and a “placeholder.”
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