MANILA (UPDATE) — A ranking official of Lakas-CMD, the political party of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, on Monday admitted their members who filed candidacies for president and vice president are merely "placeholders" until November 15, the last day for substitution for aspirants set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, House Deputy Speaker and Lakas-CMD secretary general Prospero Pichay Jr. revealed they "don't have a standard bearer yet."
"It's still fluid, we don't have a standard bearer yet," Pichay said in a phone interview.
On October 8, the last day for filing of certificates for candidacy (COCs), a certain Anna Capella Velasco filed a COC for president under Lakas-CMD, while a Lyle Fernando Uy filed for vice president under the same party.
Asked if Velasco and Uy are merely placeholders, Pichay said, "Oo, oo."
Pichay said Velasco is Lakas-CMD's executive director while Uy is a "member."
"Wala kaming standard bearer. We will adopt a candidate but we don't know yet until Nov. 15," he added.
"We have potential candidates, we haven't made up our minds... We will wait, we don't know yet anong mangyayari (what will happen)," he added.
LAKAS-CMD EYES SARA DUTERTE, BONG REVILLA
In a separate interview, Pichay said Lakas-CMD is reserving a standard bearer spot for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has already rejected running for the country's top post.
"Let's put it this way, priority si Mayor Inday but of course we have to respect her decision if she doesn’t want to run for president... From within the party meron naman kaming potential candidates like Bong Revilla, but he has not decided also," Pichay said.
"We can also consider Bongbong Marcos," he added. However, Marcos has already filed a COC for president under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.
Under Comelec en banc resolution 10717, dated Aug. 1, 2021, aspirants who are members of a political party or coalition who were able to file COC can withdraw and be substituted until Nov. 15, 2021.
President Rodrigo Duterte, Duterte-Carpio's father, made a late entry in the 2016 presidential race as a substitute candidate.
LAKAS-CMD AND HUGPONG NG PAGBABAGO
Lakas CMD president House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez earlier considered running for the vice presidency, with Duterte-Carpio as the standard bearer.
However, Romualdez filed instead a COC for reelection as a district representative, while Duterte-Carpio opted out of the presidential race and filed a COC for a third and last term as Davao City mayor.
Prior to this, Lakas-CMD said it would back Duterte-Carpio's presidential bid.
Lakas-CMD last June said it was set to renew alliance with Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional party of Duterte-Carpio. The 2 parties have been in alliance since 2018, but it is unclear if the partnership was renewed for the 2022 polls.
Duterte-Carpio is known to enjoy close ties with Arroyo, Lakas-CMD's president emeritus, and was said to be instrumental in the former president's ascent as House Speaker in 2018.
—With report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News