Duterte free to choose running mate outside PDP-Laban if he runs for VP next year

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2021 07:59 PM | Updated as of Jun 02 2021 08:42 PM

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MANILA — A tandem with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in next year's elections is "possible" if President Rodrigo Duterte accepts the call of his party mates for him to seek the vice presidency, a PDP-Laban executive said Wednesday.

Duterte was given the freedom to choose a running mate regardless of political party, based on the resolution recently endorsed by the PDP-Laban national council, said party vice president for external affairs Raul Lambino.

Lambino told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo that their resolution formally urging Duterte, their chairman, to run as the country's vice president gave him the liberty to pick a candidate to run with, and did not demand that he or she be from their political group.

"[The national council] unanimously approved a resolution strongly urging President Duterte to run as vice president and giving him the sole decision to choose his running mate," Lambino said. 

Asked if Duterte's running mate could be from another party, specifically his daughter, Lambino said, "Pwede 'yun. Hindi natin sinabi dun sa resolution na... kung siya ay tatakbo bilang pangalawang pangulo sa 2022, na ang kailangan niyang piliing kandidato sa pagka-Pangulo ay manggagaling sa PDP-Laban."

(That's allowed. The resolution did not say that he should only pick his presidential candidate among PDP-Laban members, if he decides to run for Vice President in 2022.)

He said Duterte won as president in 2016 not only because of the PDP-Laban, but also with the help of other parties such as the Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People's Coalition, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, National Unity Party, One Cebu Party, and Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Sara Duterte-Carpio heads the Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Lambino said a Duterte-Duterte tandem "is a possibility".

The rumored daughter-father tandem has been floated several times by administration allies since last year, particularly Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, who called the potential alliance "unbeatable" in 2022. 

Responding to a hypothetical question regarding PDP-Laban acting president Sen. Manny Pacquio's supposed interest for the top post of the land, Lambino said any member of their party with the same ambition should just talk to Duterte. 

"Siguro, pupwedeng gawin yan ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Bakit hindi, 'di ba? Senador naman po siya. Qualified naman po siya. Magaling naman po siya. May puso siyang maglingkod. Malapit naman po ang puso niya at kalooban sa ating mga mamamayang Pilipino. At siya po ang acting President ng partido. Ang Pangulong Duterte ang national chairman po ngayon. Maganda po sigurong mag-usap silang dalawa," said Lambino.

(Sen. Manny Pacquiao may do that. Why not? He is a senator. He is qualified. He is good. He has the heart to serve. He is close to the Filipino people. And he is the acting President of the party while President Duterte is the national chairman. It may be good if they talk.)

"Kung yun po ang nasa saloobin ng ating mahal na Sen. Manny Pacquiao, bakit hindi niya sabihin sa ating mahal na Pangulo yung kaniyang intensyon, kung meron man siyang ambisyon na tatakbo sa pagka-Pangulo sa 2022?" he added.

(If Sen. Manny Pacquiao has the ambition to run for President in 2022, why won't he tell his intention to President Duterte?)

"Maliwanag yung aming resolution na kung sakaling si Presidente Duterte ay tatakbo bilang pangalawang pangulo sa susunod na halalan, kami na dumalo sa national council meeting nung Lunes, nagpasa kami ng resolusyon na sinasabi namin sa Pangulo na kayo na ang bahalang pumili kung sino ang inyong napupusuan."

(Our resolution is very clear, that if President Duterte runs for Vice President in the next elections, we who attended the national council meeting last Monday said in that resolution that he is free to choose his running mate.)

Ron Munsayac, PDP-Laban Executive Director, said Tuesday that the party should choose its standard bearer for the 2022 national elections among its members.

"Ang abiso lang namin sa aming mga kapartido, kung may standard bearer ang aming partido, dapat taga PDP-Laban," he said.

(We advised our partymates that if we will have a standard bearer, he or she should be a member of PDP-Laban.)

Pacquiao was not in favor of the PDP-Laban's national council meeting last Monday and had been urging officials to focus on the pandemic over politics.

Malacañang said Duterte "leaves to God" the decision on whether he would run for vice president in the 2022 elections. 

Duterte, 76, is not eligible for re-election as President. In April 2019, he said he is "tired" and that did not have the "choice of being a politician forever." 

"I will not stay forever, I will not be part of the political scenery in the coming years," he said then.

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