PDP-Laban members continue plea for Duterte’s VP run despite Pacquiao warning

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
PDP-Laban members continue plea for Duterteâs VP run despite Pacquiao warning
This September 2018 photo from PDP-Laban shows members of the administration party making the signature fist gesture that has become associated with Duterte.
PDP-Laban Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Some members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino—Lakas ng Bayan are continuing their push for President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president despite the warning from their party president, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, against politicking.

“While there is that warning, how can we stop it?” Deputy Secretary General Melvin Matibag told reporters in Filipino on Thursday. “It will run contrary to one of the principles of PDP-Laban which is participatory and consultative democracy.”

Matibag said they are continuing their consultative meetings across the country and that local politicians from different parties have been asking to sign the resolution that urges Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 elections, supposedly for the continuity of his administration’s socioeconomic agenda.

Pacquiao and other national leaders of PDP-Laban, however, disowned this call last week and appealed to party members to focus on helping people adversely affected by the pandemic instead of the elections, which is only 14 months away.

But Matibag said the appeal for Duterte to run for the second-highest post in the land has taken a life of its own, with him claiming grassroots support for this move.

“The request for the president has snowballed. It just shows how popular the president is, how effective his leadership is,” Matibag said. “Even if PDP-Laban will stop, the calls will continue.”

Despite some members of PDP-Laban essentially defying the directive of the party’s national leadership, Matibag insists that there is no rift within the party, which has previously faced infighting and the exit of some party members.

“That’s the process in PDP-Laban, since we are very democratic, there will be disagreements. But at the end of the day, the PDP-Laban will come out with one position,” he said.

A president running for lower office is not unprecedented as the Constitution only bars presidents from 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.




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