MANILA— The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday said it continues to "explore options" amid recent political developments, particularly the possibility of fielding President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Bong Go's tandem in the 2022 elections.
To recall, Go initially filed for candidacy as vice president. PDP-Laban's current standard bearer is Sen. Roland "Bato" Dela Rosa, an eleventh-hour announcement on the last day of filing certificates of candidacy last month.
But Cusi told ABS-CBN News that it is possible that Go could run for the country's top post, while Duterte could run as vice president. The two has until Nov. 15, Monday, to register as substitute candidates should they decide to do so.
Go hinted this week of possible changes in his political plans, while President Duterte has already expressed his intention to retire from politics after his term ends next year. He had said the same in 2015 but went on to run for president.
"We continue to monitor developments in the national political landscape and we are exploring all options... including our original plan of fielding a Go-Duterte tandem," the statement read.
"In the meantime, we continue to consult PDP leaders in the provinces and cities so our ultimate decision will be reflective of the sentiments on the ground," it added.
The development came after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio joined a national party, Lakas-CMD, ahead of the substitution deadline on Monday.
Duterte in August said he would continue his "crusade" against illegal drugs, insurgency, and criminality if he is elected vice president.
PDP-Laban earlier announced that Duterte, 76, heeded “the clamor of the people and accepted the endorsement of the PDP-Laban Party for him to run as Vice President in the 2022 National Elections," its executive vice president Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement.
Constitution framer Christian Monsod earlier said Duterte's plan goes against the intent of the 1987 Constitution. Duterte's allies had also reiterated that such a move is legal.
The Constitution bans a former President only from seeking re-election and this does not apply to other posts, his allies said. Opposition lawmakers said a Duterte vice presidential run would violate the spirit of the Constitution and that his true goal was to be a successor-president.
There is also no truth that the President is gunning for the vice-presidency to remain in power and avoid prosecution for alleged crimes as chief executive, his Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said.
Duterte is facing a complaint of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for alleged summary killings
- With reports from Jamaine Punzalan and Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News