WHO needs PDP-Laban, or any other political party anyway, if and when President Rodrigo Duterte decides to run for vice president in next year’s general elections?
“If the president decides to run for vice president with any party, or even without a party, he will run,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
Reacting to the possible expulsion of the Chief Executive from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for supposedly violating party rule should he decide to pursue the second highest post in the land next year, Roque took a swipe at the administration party, which was on the verge of extinction until Duterte came in.
“It is up to them to decide. We all know that PDP-Laban had almost no members before President Duterte joined the party, so I don’t know where this PDP-Laban’s statement is coming from,” stated the Palace official.
“I will reiterate it, the PDP-Laban members before President Duterte joined could be filled in a single jeep only. So, if they will remove the President they will go back to a jeep load,” he added.
Earlier this week, PDP-Laban National Education Committee chair Rufina “Ka Pines” Arcega floated the idea of the expulsion of Duterte, who also happens to be the party chair, if he accepted the resolution urging him to run for vice president — a move deemed “illegal” according to the official.
Roque also advised the party members to get their act together and decide whether to follow the order of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to ignore the Duterte-backed 17 July national assembly or not.
“If the PDP-Laban really wants to ignore the president, so be it. If they really want the president out of the party, the decision is in their hands,” he said.
“Let us just see what will be the decision of the majority of the members of the PDP-Laban,” he added.
PDP-Laban deputy secretary general Atty. Melvin Matibag said the president will preside over the national assembly which was organized by Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is also the party’s vice chairman.
Last week, the party members led by Senator Manny Pacquiao removed Cusi from the party, but Roque said Duterte still recognizes Cusi’s leadership in the party.
Pacquiao is the party’s acting president and is rumored to be eyeing the presidency next year.
Meanwhile, the Palace welcomed the latest Pulse Asia Survey which showed the president and his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio tandem topping the list of presidential and vice-presidential bets for 2022 polls.
Roque said the palace is thankful to the public for showing trust to the president and his daughter.
“We would like to thank the people for the trust they are giving to President Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte,” he said.
“This only shows that whatever dirt his critics throw against him, the public still trusts his leadership,” he added.
The elections survey was conducted from 7 to 16 June with 2,400 respondents.
Duterte-Carpio got 28 percent of the respondents who were asked who will they vote for if the elections were held on the day they were interviewed,
She was followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at 14 percent.
Meanwhile, President Duterte led the list for vice president for the 2022 polls with 18 percent of the respondents saying they will vote for him.
He was also followed by the respondents’ second most preferred president, Domagoso, at 14 percent.