PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s next role: vice president?
The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) national council has adopted a resolution urging Duterte to run for the country’s second-highest office in the 2022 elections.
Adopted during a National Council Assembly in Cebu City, the resolution also urged Duterte to name his running mate for president in next year’s race.
The national council received petitions and resolutions from various regions, local government units, and chapters of the party calling for Duterte to run for the vice presidency, according to PDP-Laban Vice President for External Affairs and Secretary Raul Lambino.
“The text of this resolution read as follows: ‘Resolution to convince the party chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte, to run as Vice President in the 2022 national elections and for President Rodrigo Duterte to choose his running mate for president in the 2022 national elections,’” Lambino said Monday, May 31.
Lambino’s motion to adopt the resolution, which was seconded, was approved by the Energy Secretary and PDP-Laban vice chairperson Alfonso Cusi, who presided over the national assembly.
Should Duterte not heed the call to run as vice president, the party will hold a national convention to decide its standard-bearer.
The party’s president, Senator Manny Pacquiao, did not attend the meeting.
Previously, he told members to “ignore” Cusi’s call for a national assembly by the end of the month.
“All concerned Partymates are strongly advised to ignore the letter,” he said in a memorandum dated May 25.
According to Pacquiao, the invitation was “not sanctioned by Authorized National Council officials and violates Section 4 and Section 5, Article XVI, Constitution of the PDP Laban.”
A highlighted part of the memorandum stressed: “Any call for a national council and/or assembly must be approved by both the chairman and the president only.”
“This is not the time for politics,” Pacquiao added.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that Duterte was the one who designated Cusi to “organize, convene and preside over the council meeting.”
“This move, which is part of the democratic exercise, aims to consult party members and have fruitful and productive exchanges on issues affecting PDP-Laban,” he said Sunday, May 30.
In March, PDP-Laban signed a resolution urging Duterte to seek the vice presidency.
“It is recognized by leaders and members that with President Duterte’s steadfast leadership and the strong public support for his agenda of change, the government will be able to expeditiously and effectively deliver our people, our community, our economy, back to good health,” the members said in a March 8 resolution released March 11.
The members argued that the Duterte administration “has made great strides in its battle against the scourge of drugs, terrorism, insurgency, corruption, and poverty.”
At least 20 members of the partylist signed the resolution, including Cusi.
For his part, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte may run for the second-highest post in the country in the 2022 elections if there is a public “clamor.”
“Si presidente, tatakbo lang ‘yan pag nakita niya may clamor, ‘pag malakas ang clamor (The president will only run if he sees that there is clamor, if the clamor is strong),” Panelo said in an interview with One News’ “The Chiefs” on TV5 aired on May 25.
When asked to clarify if Duterte is open to running for vice president, Panelo answered that Duterte will leave it to God.
“Ito ang sagot niya (This was his answer): I’ll leave it to God. (Those) were his exact words,” he said. n