President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the nomination of his party PDP-Laban to run for vice president in the 2022 elections.
PDP-Laban executive vice president and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced this in a statement on Tuesday, August 24.
Nograles said Duterte "accepted the endorsement" of the party and "agreed to make the sacrifice and heed the clamor of the people."
Nograles said the President made the decision following calls from PDP-Laban councils from the regional to the barangay levels that want a "transition of leadership that will guarantee continuity of the administration’s programs during the past five years."
Amid strong criticism of the Duterte administration's weak pandemic response and its slow vaccination drive, Nograles said that the party councils want Duterte to seek the vice presidency to ensure that the government's COVID-19 vaccination program "will be sustained in the critical stage of the pandemic."
Duterte earlier said he would run for vice president to avoid lawsuits – a claim debunked by lawyers and legal experts.
At least three party sources said Duterte announced the decision during a Malacañang meeting with party president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and other party officials on Monday night, August 22.
Nograles also announced five senatorial candidates of the ruling party: House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
He said the latest developments will be among the agenda at the PDP-Laban national convention on September 8, at the San Jose Del Monte Convention Center, in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
Party insiders said Duterte and Senator Bong Go are set to attend the September 8 event.
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org