PDP-Laban Cusi faction officially nominates Bong Go-Rodrigo Duterte for 2022

The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Wednesday, September 8, officially nominated the tandem of Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte for the 2022 presidential elections.

The faction held its national convention on Wednesday to officially announce its presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial bets for the upcoming elections.

While the President accepted the nomination, Go had already earlier declined the endorsement of the faction, saying that he would like to focus on his Senate duties. Go is the chairman of the Senate health committee.

Go on Wednesday reiterated that he had already declined and that the party should respect his decision.

"Inuulit ko, hindi po ako interesadong tumakbo sa pagkapangulo sa darating na halalan.… Unahin 'nyo na lang po ang may gusto," said Go.

(I repeat, I am not interested in running for the presidency in the upcoming elections. Just prioritize others who may want to.)

Despite Go's rejection, PDP-Laban officials said that the party will continue to convince him to run and wait for him "until the end.”

"Anything can happen between now and October 1. Even up to the last minute [of certificate of candidacy filing] on October 8," said PDP-Laban executive president and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

During his speech at the national convention, Duterte said he was running for vice president out of his "love of country."

"Is it ambition? Maybe. Is it a sense of love of country? Yes. Is it really because I want to see the continuity of my efforts even though I may not be the one giving the directions? Baka makatulong lang ako. Alam 'nyo na ang problema: droga pa rin, terorismo, nandiyan NPA," the President said.

(I might be able to help. You already know the problems: drugs, terrorism, the NPA.)

The Cusi-led faction also announced its initial Senate lineup on Wednesday. The group, however, will still have to wait for the decision of the Commission on Elections as to which camp is the legitimate PDP-Laban.

The other faction, led by senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino Pimentel III, has yet to announce its own bets, but Pacquiao said he is not willing to settle for the vice presidency. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.