Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) President
Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday said Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go
has not closed the door on the possibility of running for President in
the 2022 polls despite the lawmaker’s earlier statements he is not
interested.

The ruling party, which has endorsed Go as its presidential bet in
tandem with President Rodrigo Duterte who had already agreed to run
for vice president in the 2022 polls, will hold its national
convention Wednesday in Pampanga to finalize its roster of candidates.

Duterte and Go are expected to attend the event.

“What he (Go) said was that make him the last option. So, there is
always that possibility. He has not closed the door,” Cusi said in an
online press briefing.

Since Duterte has agreed to run for vice president, Cusi said the
former needs a partner with whom he can work.

He said among members of the ruling party, Go meets that requirement best.

Cusi, however, said he could not predict how Go would react to his
expected nomination as the party’s candidate for President in 2022.

As a matter of course, Cusi said the ruling party also went into the
process of vetting the names of other members who have either
signified their intention to run for president or whose names have
been mentioned as possible presidential candidates. He declined to
name names though.

“That also goes to show that PDP has other possible (presidential)
candidates,” Cusi said.

But he declined to comment if the ruling party is open to the
possibility of adopting Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as a
presidential bet if Go rejects his nomination, saying it’s a matter
that has to be decided by the entire party. Sara heads the regional
party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

During the convention, Cusi said the ruling party would also announce
its senatorial slate composed entirely of PDP Laban members.

“Enough to say now that tomorrow what we are going to announce are all
PDP (Laban) members. I don’t want to say now how many but, of course,
a maximum of 12,” Cusi said.

The ruling party earlier released an initial list of its 2022
senatorial slate that included House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta,
Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, Information and
Communications Technology Secretary Gringo Honasan, Transport
Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark
Villar.

Other names floated as possible members of the PDP Laban senatorial
ticket include Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Cabinet Secretary
Karlo Nograles, PACC commissioner Greco Belgica, Agrarian Reform
Secretary John Castriones, Quirino Governor Dax Cua, Leyte Rep. Lucy
Torres and Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary
Martin Andanar.

Cusi and DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya assured the public that
PDP Laban has taken all possible measures to ensure the health of the
participants is protected.

“It would not be a superspreader event,” Malaya said.

Cusi said they opted to move the venue to Pampanga at the last minute
because the original venue, in Bulacan, is now under stricter ECQ
restrictions. Pampanga is under the more relaxed GCQ classification.





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