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PDP-Laban leadership disowns calls for Duterte to run for vice president in 2022

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
PDP-Laban leadership disowns calls for Duterte to run for vice president in 2022
Sen. Manny Pacquiao (right) and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco are sworn in as PDP-Laban president and executive vice president, respectively, by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III during a hybrid fellowship night at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar on Wednesday.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The national leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte’s party disowned calls of some of its members for the chief executive to run again in the 2022 elections, this time as vice president.

“That was not sanctioned by me, as acting president of the party. That was not authorized,” Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan acting president, told a media briefing in Filipino on Friday.

Pacquiao appealed to party members to focus on helping people affected by the pandemic instead of politics, saying that it is still too early to discuss the elections, which is only 14 months away.

“The focus of the party now is to help people facing difficulties, help people going hungry. That’s our focus, not politics,” he said in Filipino.

He also warned Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is reportedly among the people behind the calls for Duterte to run for vice president, to stop “poisoning” the minds of their partymates.

“I am appealing against poisoning the mind of some members of our party so that politics can be discussed. Let us talk about helping people first,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.

The resolution

At least 20 members of PDP-Laban, which has amended its party logo to include the fist associated with Duterte, have signed a resolution urging him to run for the second-highest post in the land, citing the need to ensure the continuity of the government’s socioeconomic agenda so the country can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is recognized by leaders and members that with President Duterte’s steadfast leadership and the strong public support for his agenda of change, the government will be able to expeditiously and effectively deliver our people, our community, our economy, back to good health,” the PDP-Laban members said in a March 8 resolution.

It must be noted that, under the 1987 Constitution, the vice president does not have official functions except to replace the president "in case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the president." They may, however, "be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet." 

A president running for lower office is not unprecedented as the Constitution only bars presidents from running for seeking reelection to the top political post in the land. 

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ran for and won a seat in the House after her stint in Malacañang, while former President Joseph Estrada also ran for and won as Manila mayor.

PDP-LABAN RODRIGO DUTERTE
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