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Duterte reminds PDP Laban members to prioritize Phl interests

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday reminded members of the ruling PDP Laban to prioritize the country’s interests, saying the party’s mission is to improve the quality of lives of Filipinos.

Duterte made the remark during his first public political event after the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the May 2022 elections, which also marked the tandem launch of Sens. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go, who are eyeing the top two government posts.

“Keep in mind that our victory will not only be ours, but more importantly, to the nation,” he said in his speech, addressing some 250 PDP Laban members in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

“As a political party, we should put the progress of our country and our people on top of our priorities. Our mission is, and will always be, to improve the quality of the lives of the Filipinos,” Duterte added.

He also urged PDP Laban members — whom he described as competent and qualified bets for government posts — to stick to the party and its principles even after the elections.

“I am confident that our candidates have the competence, integrity, and dedication that our people are looking for in a public servant,” Duterte said.

The President also called on party members to assure the conduct of peaceful elections.

Duterte, in his speech, then reiterated his commitment to campaign for PDP Laban candidates running for national and local posts.

The said activity is the first of many political events that will be attended by the 76-year-old President in the run-up of the May 2022 elections.

It did not come as a surprise that the PDP Laban conducted its campaign launch in Lanao del Norte, since the Chief Executive and the party’s standard bearers were all born and raised in Mindanao.

Duterte himself topped in Davao Region, Soccsksargen provinces, and the now-defunct Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao during the 2016 presidential elections.

The President was accompanied by Dela Rosa, Go, and PDP Laban officials, including party president Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi during the campaign launch.

The ruling party has expressed confidence that the “Bato-Go” tandem would continue the flagship projects of the administration, particularly its anti-drug war campaign and its ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program.

Both Dela 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 name his running mate.

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