The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) is sticking it out with Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa for its presidential candidate in the 2022 national elections.
Party secretary-general Melvin Matibag, speaking in a virtual news forum, reiterated that PDP Laban is “not waiting for another candidate” to substitute for the lawmaker as its standard-bearer.
De la Rosa became the party’s surprise presidential bet after Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go opted to run as vice president following President Rodrigo Duterte’s withdrawal from the VP race.
Go was initially endorsed by the PDP Laban as its presidential candidate with Duterte as his VP running-mate.
Duterte’s withdrawal as a result of a survey that showed 60 percent of the respondents viewing his run as “against the spirit of the Constitution,” shook the results of the PDP Laban national assembly.
Matibag, however, said De la Rosa is no mere seat-warmer for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who had thumbed down calls for her to run as PDP Laban’s standard-bearer.
“I’m certain that I’m one hundred percent that our tandem is Bato-Go for president and vice president,” Matibag said.
He admitted that the party had sought an audience with Duterte-Carpio earlier. The President’s daughter, however, is committed to running for a third term as Davao City mayor.
Duterte-Carpio is also not a member of PDP Laban. She has her own regional party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Although PDP Laban has 51 governors on its roll, some 60 governors have already committed to supporting Go’s candidacy.
“We will work — if this doesn’t translate yet — for them to support Senator Bato as well,” Matibag said.
While the PDP Laban remains firm in supporting the Bato-Go tandem, the Lakas CMD party on Friday has announced giving up on its hope of having Duterte-Carpio agree to become its standard-bearer.
Lakas-CMD secretary-General and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay said the party already lost hope for a Duterte-Carpio presidential run and will convince party president Ramon “Bong” Revilla to become its standard-bearer, instead.
No more Sara
“After so many conversations, we are no longer expecting that she (Duterte-Carpio) would run for president,” Pichay said.
“We really have to respect the decision of Mayor Inday Sara. She is still young. She has so many unfinished businesses in Davao City. We really have to respect that,” Pichay said.
“We want Bong Revilla to run but he declined. We tried to convince him but he declined,” he added. “Maybe he will change his mind, we don’t know. Definitely, there’s a possibility he will also decide to run.”
A certain Anna Capella Velasco has filed for Lakas CMD’s presidential slot in the Commission on Elections while it waits for either Duterte-Carpio or Revilla to agree to substitute.