Cusi: PDP-Laban convincing Duterte to run for senator in 2022 polls
MANILA, Philippines — A faction of the ruling party PDP-Laban is convincing President Rodrigo Duterte to run for senator in the 2022 elections.
Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, who heads a wing of the ruling party, confirmed Wednesday about efforts to sway Duterte into seeking a Senate seat next year and even possibly act as campaign manager of PDP-Laban’s standard-bearers Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go.
“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 in a statement.
Cusi’s PDP-Laban faction originally wanted Duterte to run for vice president with his long-time assistant, Go, as his president. But the President balked at his earlier acceptance of the party’s nomination and announced his intention to retire from politics. Go then took his place and filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president while another long-time Duterte follower, dela Rosa, filed his COC for president at the last minute.
Cusi, however, said PDP Laban remains prepared to revert to its original plan of fielding Go as its presidential candidate and Duterte as his running mate if the President changes his mind about running for vice president next year.
For now, Cusi said the party will keep the status quo and push for the dela Rosa-Go tandem in 2022.
“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, the PDP-Laban, are pushing and continue the ‘Build, Build, Build’ programs as well as other programs that President Duterte has started,” he said.
According to Cusi, Duterte will be PDP-Laban’s “best campaign manager” in the meantime since the President continues to enjoy a high approval rating.
Cusi believed this will help boost dela Rosa and Go’s chances of winning.
Senators have been in Duterte’s line of fire since they started investigating the government’s purchase of allegedly overpriced medical supplies for its pandemic response last year.
The President went so far as to bar Cabinet officials from attending the hearings of the Senate blue ribbon committee that is being led by Senator Richard Gordon, who became the subject of Duterte’s ire and weekly rants.
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