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PDP Laban picks Sara as VP bet

Lakas-CMD expressed its deep gratitude to the officials and members of PDP Laban for adopting Duterte-Carpio.

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PDP Laban on Friday announced that it has adopted Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as the party’s official candidate for vice president for the 9 May 2022 elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s party, however, remains undecided which candidate it will endorse for president.

“The decision to adopt Mayor Sara has been made by the PDP Laban National Executive Committee based on her credentials, advocacies, and vision for our Nation,” PDP Laban’s announcement read.

“Based on these, the PDP Laban has decided that the quality of her advocacies and vision are strongly aligned with that of the party.

“The PDP Laban believes that the quality of her leadership and her track record in the performance of her duties in her current office makes her most qualified for the position she is now aspiring for and therefore deserves the party’s support,” it added.

The ruling party is confident that Duterte-Carpio’s vice presidency will pave the way for the continuity of the Duterte administration’s key programs like its fight against criminality, corruption, and illegal drugs as well as the “Build, Build, Build” program.

PDP Laban called on all its party members across the country to support Duterte-Carpio’s candidacy.

In a press conference, PDP Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the ruling party is finalizing its alliance agreement with the Lakas-CMD that has Duterte-Carpio serving as its chairperson.

He stressed that the decision to adopt the President’s daughter “went through a democratic process” and was a collective decision.

“Our formal alliance is being processed because of course, at the local level, there are candidates from PDP Laban and Lakas CMD who are running for the same position. We are looking at how we can handle that,” Cusi stated.

“We are making sure that there will be no blind spots that will cause confusion on the ground,” he added.

PDP Laban started discussing the adoption of Duterte-Carpio with Lakas-CMD “late last year” but was hampered by typhoon “Odette” and the sudden rise of Covid-19 cases.

In choosing its standard-bearer, Cusi said the party is still “evaluating who among the candidates would best continue the programs the (Duterte) administration has started.”

“We are looking at everybody without exception. We cannot skip anybody. We are looking at every candidate’s platform. We do not discriminate against anyone,” Cusi said, explaining the party’s selection process.

“We stand firm on the principles and ideals of the party,” he emphasized.

Among the major names in the 2022 presidential race, Bongbong Marcos — Duterte-Carpio’s running mate — is the most vocal in his support in continuing and even improving the President’s programs.

Also seeking the presidency are Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and labor leader Leody de Guzman.

The Energy chief said the party will announce its presidential bet before the official campaign period starts.

Based on Comelec’s calendar of activities, the campaign period for national positions will begin on 8 February and will end on 7 May 2022.

Cusi, however, is not discounting the possibility that PDP Laban will not endorse a presidential candidate in the end.

Meanwhile, Lakas-CMD expressed its “deep gratitude” to the officials and members of PDP Laban for adopting Duterte-Carpio.

“We welcome this development as an opportunity to renew our partnership with PDP Laban, which has been a steady ally in pushing for social and economic reforms under the Duterte administration,” the party stated.

Lakas-CMD is hopeful that other parties that are supportive of the administration would “forge unity” to “realize their common dream” to “elect the team that would best serve the Filipino people.”

On the other hand, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ counsel and spokesperson, claimed that Lakas-CMD and regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) “informed” the Marcos camp that there was “no signing of an accord” between the said parties and PDP Laban.

“The political parties (Lakas-CMD and Hugpong ng Pagbabago) of Mayor Sara informed us that there was no signing of an accord between them and PDP Laban, nor a semblance of any formality to forge an agreement for Mayor Sara’s ‘adoption’ and that they remain strongly committed to its alliance with presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos,” Rodriguez said.

“As far as the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, the party of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos, and the UniTeam are concerned, such ‘adoption’ though a Unilateral move by the PDP Laban (Cusi faction) deserves our utmost respect,” he added.

Prior to heading Lakas-CMD and HnP, Duterte-Carpio was a PDP Laban member and ran for Davao City mayor under its banner in 2019.

PDP Laban’s original presidential bets, Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, had both exited last year from the presidential race.

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