2022 Philippine Elections

What to expect at PDP-Laban Cusi faction’s hybrid national convention

Camille Elemia
What to expect at PDP-Laban Cusi faction’s hybrid national convention

RULING PARTY. President Rodrigo Duterte attends the national assembly of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan at Royce Hotel in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, on July 17, 2021.

Malacañang photo

Around 400 people are expected to physically attend the event in San Fernando, Pampanga

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) group led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is set to hold its national convention on Wednesday, September 8.

The event will have a mix of physical and virtual attendees. The physical event will be held at the 2,500-capacity Laus Group Event Centre in San Fernando, Pampanga, where around 400 people are expected to attend, including President Rodrigo Duterte.

The initial plan was to hold the event in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, but the province was placed under modified enhanced community quarantine, which prohibits mass gatherings.

Pampanga is under the more relaxed general community quarantine classification, which allows conventions subject to operational capacity limitations. 

“We opted to have a hybrid event that included physical attendance considering the clamor of local leaders who want to meet the party’s national leaders in person and not just in a video. But the majority of the delegates will be joining online ‘coz they cannot be accommodated in the venue,” Cusi told reporters in a virtual briefing.

Safety guidelines

Party officials said they will implement the following safety guidelines:

  • Only vaccinated people will be allowed to enter the venue (with valid proof)
  • Attendees will be required to present a negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours from the event
  • Attendees will have to undergo antigen testing on-site

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, a party officer and a member of the national government’s Interagency Task Force, said the convention will not be a superspreader event.

The voting members of the party’s national assembly will be given priority access to the venue. This includes:

  • Party chairman and vice chairman
  • National officers
  • Secretaries general of all regional councils
  • National committee chairpersons
  • Regional council presidents
  • Regional secretaries general
  • Cabinet members
  • Senators
  • House representatives
  • Governors
  • City mayors
National candidates

The group earlier endorsed Senator Bong Go and Duterte to be their presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2022 elections. While Duterte accepted the nomination, Go has so far rejected it. This is still not final, as Cusi said Go is still open to running. 

The party is also set to announce its senatorial lineup. Cusi said the slate will be composed of party members and will not include any guest candidates.

Previously mentioned names include:

  • House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta
  • Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo
  • Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar
  • Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gringo Honasan
  • Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

The other faction of PDP-Laban, headed by senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, will hold its separate national assembly later in September. (READ: Will PDP-Laban survive Duterte?) – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

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 camille.elemia@rappler.com