MANILA - Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go and President Rodrigo Duterte will likely be PDP-Laban's standard-bearers in the upcoming 2022 elections, an official of the country's ruling party said Thursday.
PDP-Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told ABS-CBN News that in their national executive council meeting on Wednesday, party members agreed to endorse the Go-Duterte tandem for Halalan 2022.
PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag earlier confirmed that in the same meeting, Go emerged among the frontrunners for the party's presidential bets, while Duterte led the top picks for its vice-presidential candidate.
Matibag however said Thursday they have yet to finalize their PDP-Laban lineup for Halalan 2022.
"There was an endorsement but it will still be discussed during the National Assembly on Sept. 8," he said.
The announcement came amid an ongoing rift between Senator Manny Pacquiao and two top officials of PDP-Laban, namely Duterte and Cusi.
Pacquiao, seen as a top presidential candidate, was supposedly ousted as acting president of PDP-Laban following the election of Cusi, the party's vice chair, during the party's national assembly in Pampanga last month.
Before that, three officials, including Cusi and Matibag, were supposedly expelled by Pacquiao's group from PDP-Laban for violating party rules.
Sen. Koko Pimentel, an ally of the boxer-senator, said Cusi and his allies were supporting an "outsider" of PDP-Laban for the presidency, which they denied.
The Pacquiao-Pimentel faction has denounced the Cusi-led assembly in Pampanga, saying it does not recognize the "purported" assembly at Royce Hotel and Casino, which staged the election of new party officials.
—With a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News