PDP-Laban official: Many partymates don’t support Duterte VP for 2022 plans

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2021 02:02 AM

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MANILA—A PDP-Laban party official on Monday said many of her colleagues do not agree with President Rodrigo Duterte running for vice president in the 2022 national elections. 

And if that were to happen, Duterte could be removed from the party, according to Rufina Pines Arcega, chair of PDP-Laban's national education committee.

Three of Duterte's allies have been expelled from the country's ruling political party for allegedly violating its rules.

Arcega said that the resolution urging Duterte to run for vice president in 2022 under the PDP-Laban banner was illegal since it was drafted during an unauthorized meeting in late May in Cebu.

PDP-Laban president, boxer-senator Manny Pacquiao, had called on members to boycott the assembly organized by the party's vice chair, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. 

But Cusi continued to conduct the meeting without Pacquiao's directive, which is mandatory based on party rules, according to Arcega.

Duterte himself told Cusi to call for the meeting.

Since the assembly is considered invalid, PDP-Laban will not support Duterte's pursuit of the vice presidency, Arcega said.

"Kung ganon ang kaniyang gagawin, ito rin ay matuturing paglabag ng Saligang Batas at maaaring pwedeng dahilang o, sabihin mo na, paghiwalay ng Pangulo sa partido," she told ANC.

(If that's what's he doing, it will be a violation of the Constitution and can be the reason for, you might say, him being removed from the party.)

Arcega said most of her partymates are not enthusiastic with Duterte's plans for 2022.

"Marami ang mga kasama natin at mga ka-partido na nagsasabing hindi na dapat tumakbo pang bise presidente ang Pangulong Duterte," she told ANC.

(Many of our colleagues and partymates are saying President Duterte should not run for vice president anymore.)

Duterte has floated more than once the idea of running as vice president next year.

Astra Naik, one of the three expelled from PDP-Laban along with Cusi for allegedly supporting an outsider to run for president with Duterte as vice president, said there is no law against such a plan.

Naik, accused of supporting presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the country's top post, who is not a member of PDP-Laban, said they are pushing for the older Duterte to run for the vice presidency since "it can be done."

But Christian Monsod, one of those who crafted the Charter, earlier said Duterte's plan goes against the intent of the 1987 Constitution. 

PDP-Laban vice president for Visayas Lutgardo Barbo earlier castigated Duterte for his "selfish, personal, twisted political interests" for the 2022 elections, saying one of the President's reasons to run again might be to avoid possible cases against him over his violent drug war in the country.

Then International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last month asked the court to authorize opening a full investigation into drug war killings in the country, saying crimes against humanity could have been committed.

But Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte's possible pursuit of the vice-presidency is legal and is meant to "protect" the Filipino people. 


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