MANILA - Political parties eyeing to corner important positions in the 2022 elections are gearing up to launch their respective party conventions next month.
Both the ruling PDP-Laban-Cusi wing and the “neutral” tandem of Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III have scheduled their party events on Sept. 8 – incidentally, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The filing of candidacy of next year's national polls opens on Oct. 1.
The Lacson-Sotto pair decided to reschedule their Aug. 4 launching to Sept. 8 because of the growing threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Sotto, in a Viber message said, their ticket will carry the battle cry: “We need a Leader 2022.”
But just over 2 weeks before their target date of launching, the tandem has yet to finalize the names to be included in their “Magic 12.”
Asked if they already have the final list of their senatorial candidates, Sotto said: “Not yet. Matagal pa 'yun. We are not sure if 3 or 4 are running or not for the Senate.”
Sotto was referring to the case of Senators Richard Gordon and Sherwin Gatchalian who have already indicated their openness to run for President and Vice President, respectively.
Gordon and Gatchalian, who are being considered in the Lacson-Sotto lineup, have yet to finalize their 2022 plans.
TRANSCO President and CEO Melvin Matibag, who sits as secretary-general of the PDP-Laban-Cusi wing, said many party members have already committed their physical attendance for their Sept. 8 national convention to be held at the San Jose del Monte Bulacan Convention Center.
The PDP-Laban event will be highlighted by the party members’ expected nomination of the Bong Go-Rodrigo Duterte tandem for Halalan 2022.
Matibag has extended their group’s invitation to the camp of Senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel, who continue to question the legitimacy of the Cusi wing.
The Cusi wing, meanwhile, issued a statement in relation to the Pacquiao-Ugas fight.
“His (Pacquiao) loss maybe unexpected to a nation still euphoric over a sterling Olympic performance of our athletes but the outcome did not diminish our respect to the man who brought so much honor to the country and put the Philippines in the sporting map around the globe,” the statement read.
“But Manny, you're already a champ in every Filipino's heart regardless of this latest defeat. At the same time, we congratulate our very own Mark Magsayo for his victory. Truly, another proud moment for us,” it added.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, is also eyeing to hold the group’s national convention end of September.
As for the composition of the opposition group’s senatorial lineup, Pangilinan said: “Depende lahat sa unity talks at pasya ni VP (Leni Robredo) ang composition ng slate, 1Sambayan endorsement and other related concerns.”
Aksyon Demokratiko now under the leadership of Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, in the meantime, is giving the latter “options” to decide whether he will run for reelection or seek a national position.
“The options are all his (Moreno). We don't want to impinge on the decision he has to make. We will trust and support him whatever he arrives on,” Ernest Ramel, the party's chairman, told ABS-CBN News.
Ramel said party leaders have already scheduled a series of meetings so they can finally draw up plans on how to participate in next year’s elections.