2022 Philippine Elections

What is PDDS, the party backing Bong Go’s presidential bid?

Aika Rey
What is PDDS, the party backing Bong Go’s presidential bid?

PDDS. President Rodrigo Duterte accompanies Senators Bong Go and Dela Rosa who withdrew their respective COC’s on November 13, 2021, at the Comelec office in Manila.

Rappler

Founder Greco Belgica says Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan was created to support President Rodrigo Duterte's programs, including federalism

Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) was dragged into the national spotlight when it was announced that Senator Bong Go will be running for president under this party, instead of ruling party PDP-Laban.

But what is PDDS?

PDDS was founded by administration ally Presidential Anti-Corruption Chairman Greco Belgica. It was accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in October 2018.

PDDS was formed in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s federalism push, as well as his programs on fighting corruption and criminality.

In 2019, PDDS’s highest-ranking elected official was Occidental Mindoro Governor Eduardo Gadiano.

Belgica said that PDDS was organized to “continue the aspiration [and] the ideals of President Rodrigo Duterte after he finished his term.”

In September, PDDS and the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi entered into an alliance, with the view that PDDS will “aid” PDP-Laban in the upcoming 2022 elections.

True to the purpose of the partnership, PDDS presidential bet and Belgica patriarch Grepor Belgica withdrew his bid on Saturday, November 13, just so Go could run in his stead.

Campaign vehicle

Go filing his candidacy under a smaller party is similar to the path taken by Senator Manny Pacquiao.

It may be recalled that the Cusi faction castigated Pacquiao for running under PROMDI, only for them to make a similar move a month later.

Cusi, on Saturday, said that Go running under PDDS was done to “avoid legal complications.”

Earlier, the Cusi faction asked the Comelec to decide which of them is the legitimate camp.

PDP-Laban secretary-general Melvin Matibag previously said that Pacquiao’s filing of his candidacy under PROMDI was proof that he had “abandoned” the party.

Sought for comment, Pacquiao faction PDP-Laban chairman Senator Koko Pimentel said that substitution has a “very specific rule.”

“At the very least, that means that Senator Bong Go is no longer a member of PDP-Laban. Because in cases of substitution, the substitute must come from the party making the substitution. The right to substitute kasi belongs to the political party,” Pimentel said.

“While during the regular period for filing, the candidate can use the certificate of nomination of any party nominating him/her,” he added.

‘President’s wishes’

According to Go, it was the President’s wish for him to withdraw his vice presidential bid and to instead gun for the presidency in the 2022 elections.

Belgica said Saturday that the decision to let Go run under PDDS was only finalized on the same day before going to the Comelec in Intramuros, Manila.

He added that his party has always been prepared for scenarios such as this.

Weeks before, on October 22, Grepor said that he was willing to “give way” to presidential daughter Sara Duterte in case she plans to seek the highest post of the land.

On Saturday, however, the public met with twin surprises – unless there are changes on Monday, November 15, the deadline for substitution: a Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem going up against a Bong Go-Rodrigo Duterte tandem in the upcoming 2022 elections.

While it appears that PDDS will be fielding President Duterte as its vice presidential bet, Belgica said that he is still “waiting” for the party’s decision. – 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.