PDP-Laban wing not yet considering Sara Duterte as alternative standard-bearer

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2021 11:26 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte poses for posterity with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and Sen. Christopher
President Rodrigo Duterte poses for posterity with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as they prepare for the Ceremonies of the Accession to the Throne of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito while at a hotel in Tokyo, Japan on Oct. 22, 2019. King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA — A faction in President Rodrigo Duterte's political party said on Tuesday it was not yet considering his daughter as its alternative standard-bearer in the 2022 elections. 

The PDP-Laban wing led by PDP-Laban led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier endorsed Duterte's former longtime aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as its candidate for president next year. But the lawmaker has declined the endorsement ahead of the Sept. 8 meeting where PDP-Laban is expected to bare its candidates. 

"The party has not discussed" nominating the President's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as Go's replacement, said Cusi.

"They have not reached to us, so we have no basis to even discuss it this time," he said in an online media conference. 

Pressed on whether or not the party was open to adopting Duterte-Carpio, Cusi said, "I don’t like to answer that because there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration, and it’s not only me that would make the decision." 

"Sabi nga, ‘yong possibility of raining and possibility of not raining, laging andiyan ‘yan," he added. 

(As they say, the possibility of raining and possibility of not raining are always there.)

Cusi also noted that Bong Go has repeatedly said he should be last in the party's pool of potential standard-bearers. 

"Noong sinabi niya ‘yan, hindi niya isinara ang pinto... Hindi natin idini-discount na wala si Bong Go," said Cusi. 

(When he said that, he did not close the door. We are not discounting Bong Go.)

Go had previously said he was open to running for president if Duterte was his running mate.

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Duterte, 76, is prohibited by the Constitution from seeking a second term, but his opponents believe he wants to maintain his grip on power.

Duterte has declared he will seek the vice presidency if his daughter does not run for president.

Both Duterte and his daughter had topped recent opinion polls. 

 "It's possible that Sara Duterte and the father reconciled on strategy for one candidate for 2022," said political analyst Victor Manhit.

Duterte-Carpio declined to comment on whether she and her father had reconciled on political strategy. She has been quoted in media as saying she was open to running for president.

While Duterte remains popular, his administration is facing growing criticism over its handling of the pandemic amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed hospitals. 

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Go's decision to back out would have had Duterte's approval, said analyst Earl Parreno of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reforms, who stressed that "nothing is final yet".

Candidacies only need to be officially filed starting in October. 

— With a report from Reuters