President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP Laban Party has adopted a resolution urging him to run for vice president in 2022, saying this was needed to ensure continuity of his leadership during the pandemic.
Duterte is barred by the Constitution from seeking a second consecutive term. The President had said that a return to normalcy from the pandemic was likely in 2023 as vaccines started rolling out in March.
The country needs Duterte's "steadfast leadership," PDP Laban said in a "manifesto of support" released to the media late on Thursday. The party also cited "strong public support" for the President's agenda.
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It was former Malabon congressman Ricky Sandoval who broached the idea of Duterte for vice president during a recent party meeting, said PDP-Laban secretary general Melvin Matibag. MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos seconded the motion, he said.
With Duterte still holding an executive position, "the government will be able to expeditiously and effectively deliver our people, our communities, our economy, back to good health," according to the manifesto.
At one point during his long tenure as mayor of Davao City, Duterte served as vice mayor while his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, was mayor. Duterte-Carpio is incumbent Davao City mayor and is the frontrunner to replace his father based on opinion polls.
Who will be Duterte's presidential running mate in case he agrees to seek the vice presidency? Matibag told ABS-CBN News: "Those looking to run for president can go to him and ask for his endorsement as presidential candidate."
"We have in PDP, Sen Manny Pacquiao is there, Sen Bong Go, of course Mayor Sara Duterte is not PDP but an allied party of PDP which is HNP," he said.
On Thursday, Duterte said Go, his longtime aide, told him of his desire to run for president. Go said the President was joking.