The PDP Laban tandem of Senators Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go is set launch on Saturday afternoon their 2022 national campaign, with President Rodrigo Duterte leading the roadshow.
Lawyer Melvin Matibag, PDP Laban’s secretary-general, disclosed in a media conference on Friday that the 76-year-old President would accompany the party’s standard-bearers during the campaign launch scheduled in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.
It was a choice that did not come as a surprise since Duterte and the two lawmakers were all born and raised in Mindanao.
“It would be like a political rally,” Matibag said.
Duterte would address at least 250 local party officials and members in Iligan in the town hall-like meeting. It would also be broadcast on the Internet.
On Saturday, the President is also expected to lead the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of Marawi City’s liberation from the influence of IS-inspired terrorists.
Matibag, meanwhile, said the regional party meet would include the ceremonial raising of the hands of the group’s May 2022 candidates for the presidency, vice-presidency, and the Senate, including the President’s endorsement of PDP Laban bets in local posts.
“New members would take their oath, and everyone would be given a chance to give their commitment to support the candidates of the party,” he added.
Matibag stressed that PDP Laban would comply with the health and safety protocols as called for under the existing quarantine restriction level in the area.
“The area is quite big, but we will limit the number of attendees. There would also be antigen testing, especially that the chairman of the party, the President, will be there,” he said.
Participants were also required to submit negative swab test results taken at least 48 hours prior to the event, as well as Covid-19 vaccination cards, and health declaration forms, according to a PDP Laban memorandum dated 13 October.
The ruling party has committed to providing financial support to the campaign of its standard-bearers, according to Matibag.
He told the media that the PDP Laban is eyeing to broadcast a political advertisement to promote the Bato-Go tandem on or before 15 November, or the Commission on Elections’ deadline for the substitution of candidates.
The ruling party has expressed confidence that the two officials would continue the flagship projects of the Duterte administration, including its anti-drug war campaign and its ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program.
Both De la Rosa and Go were elected senators in 2019, with their victories fueled by Duterte’s record-high popularity and trust ratings.
They would go against other tandems, namely, Leni Robredo-Francis Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson-Vicente Sotto III, Manny Pacquiao-Lito Atienza, Isko Moreno-Willie Ong, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, who has yet to find a running mate.