PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has formally signed a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), affirming him as the official vice presidential candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in the 2022 national elections.
Party President and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Thursday, September 23, released photos of Duterte signing the PDP-Laban’s CONA on Sept. 17.
Earlier this month, Duterte formally accepted his nomination for vice president by the Cusi-faction of PDP-Laban.
He cited his love for the Philippines as the main reason for seeking the second-highest post in the country.
“Alam mo kung bakit ako tatakbo ng vice presidency (Do you know why I will seek the vice presidency)? Is it ambition? Maybe. But is it really a sense of love of country? Yes,” he said.
“Is it really because I want to see the continuity of my efforts even though I may not be the one giving the direction, baka makatulong lang ako (maybe I can help),” he added.
Melvin Matibag, the Cusi-wing secretary general, said that Duterte signing the CONA meant he would push through with his vice-presidential bid.
“I think that is the implication. Kasi wala naman nang (because we don’t see any) reason for him to withdraw it,” he said during an online press briefing on Thursday.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the public should wait and see if Duterte’s decision is final.
“I can only confirm that I saw the release of PDP-Laban that the President had indeed signed his certificate of candidacy for vice president. Pero naka-facility quarantine po tayo ngayon so wala po tayong physical access kay Presidente (But I’m under facility quarantine right now so I don’t have physical access to the president),” he said in a separate statement.
“Doon sa tanong na wala na bang pagbabago, well tignan po natin kung ano ang mangyayari sa October 8 at sa November 15 (As to the question on whether or not there will be changes, let’s just see what will happen on Oct. 8 and on Nov. 15),” he added.
On Sept. 8, the PDP-Laban formally nominated Duterte as vice president during its national assembly held in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The party also endorsed Senator Bong Go as its standard bearer, but he declined the nomination.
“We’re still waiting for him to accept our nomination but sana yung action ni Presidente to sign and accept the nomination of PDP-Laban would help Sen. Bong Go decide on the matter ng mas mabilis (faster),” said Matibag.
Aside from Duterte, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Dr. Willie Ong have also declared their vice presidential bids, with running mates Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, respectively.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao also announced that he will be running for president under the PDP-Laban faction he co-leads with Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. He has yet to announce who will be his running mate. n