President Rodrigo Duterte may eventually join the Senate race in the next year’s elections after PDP Laban President and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Wednesday disclosed “efforts” by the party to “convince” the Chief Executive to run gun for a slot.
“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 an interview with Daily Tribune’s “Gising Na!” on Wednesday.
The Energy chief emphasized that this latest push for Duterte is to essentially promote “party politics” that is “based on programs and issues”.
“Well, in PDP Laban, personally I’ve been espousing party politics and politics not based on personality or popularity. We won politics based on programs,” Cusi said.
He explained that this was the same reason why he joined PDP Laban in 2016 when he learned of the programs pushed by Duterte.
“I have never been involved in any party until 2016 when I joined PDP Laban. I asked President Duterte about the programs he aimed to advance, and they are programs for anti-corruption, anti-criminality, anti-illegal drugs, anti-insurgency, and uplifting the lives of Filipino people,” he shared.
Cusi again pointed out the need for the continuity of these programs.
“We are really pushing for party politics. We want to continue the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, because we want to catch up with our neighboring countries. We want to add infrastructures for the country that will really help the economy take off and bring comfort to the public,” he added.
The official expressed optimism that the President, if elected senator, can bring change in the Senate and be able to push for the programs he started.
Duterte initially accepted the PDP Laban’s nomination to run for Vice President but later decided to withdraw with Sen. Go taking over as standard-bearer.
The 2021 Pahayag Quarter 3 survey of a polling company said Duterte’s approval rating rebounded from 58 percent in Quarter 2 to 60 percent in Quarter 3.
In the same survey, Go was hailed again as the most trusted senator, earning the trust of 33.87 percent of 1,500 Filipinos who took part in the poll.
While Cusi admitted that De la Rosa hasn’t created waves in recent surveys, he said PDP Laban is not worried at all.
“The others (rival presidential candidates) might have the advantage (for now) but it doesn’t mean he can’t catch up,” Cusi said.