MANILA - Ruling party PDP-Laban can back Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the 2022 presidential election even if she is not a member of the party, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday.
The party earlier adopted a resolution urging President Duterte to run for vice president in next year's elections.
His daughter, however, said there would be no Duterte-Duterte tandem in 2022.
"It’s not unusual for parties to support somebody from a different party. If 'yan ang magiging decision ng partido to support Mayor Inday Sara kahit 'di naman siya member ng PDP-Laban basta 'yung partido can adopt her or support her," Nograles told ANC's Headstart.
(If that will be that decision of the party to support Mayor Inday Sara even if she's not a member of PDP-Laban, the party can adopt her or support her.)
"You don’t have to be a member for the PDP-Laban to support you. She’s not required to join the party."
It is up to the President as national chairperson to recommend who the party will field as presidential candidate but the decision would go through party procedure, Nograles said.
"To simplify everything, the resolution is that the President - it is for him to decide. We're giving him the discretion kung sino ang palagay niya for president (who he wants to run for president). Whatever decision it is, it will pass through the party process," he said.
"Dadaan sa partido 'yan kaya importante na mag-attend ang party members and not refuse to attend and say bawal ang ginagawa."
(It will go through the party's process so it's important that members attend, not refuse and say what we're doing is prohibited.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the party's acting president, did not attend the executive council meeting that Duterte called last May 31. His camp had questioned the council meeting, saying only the party chairman and party president can convene one.
The PDP-Laban is set to hold a national council meeting on July 16 and national assembly on July 17, Nograles said.
Asked if Pacquiao would be voted out, he said: "I don't know about being voted out. If technically speaking, if you go by party rules, if we need to ratify officials who are in acting position, it has to pass through the body. If it’s not ratified, somebody has to get elected."
Malacañang earlier said Duterte and Pacquiao remain allies despite supposed infighting within the ruling party.
Pacquiao has been vocal about his plans to run for president next year, while Duterte said his former close aide, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, also wants to succeed him in Malacañang.