Pimentel says Duterte not yet VP bet of PDP-Laban but wishes him 'luck'

Published August 24, 2021, 2:50 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Tuesday, August 24 said he can only wish President Duterte and all the other potential senatorial candidates of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi ‘good luck’.

Pimentel made the remark after Duterte reportedly accepted the nomination to be PDP-Laban’s vice-presidential candidate in the May 2022 national elections.

The senator has been at odds with the Cusi-led group which ousted him and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the erstwhile party’s president, from the PDP-Laban leadership. Pimentel has been vocal about supporting the possible presidential bid of Pacquiao.

“Good luck to all candidates. PDP LABAN has not reached that level yet of having chosen a vice president candidate because we will most likely delegate to our presidential candidate the choice of his or her running mate,” Pimentel said.

“Choosing the VP candidate first before naming your presidential candidate is an unusual circuitous convoluted process. Which I have never encountered before,” he added.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has confirmed that Duterte has accepted the party’s nomination and is now waiting for Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go’s response to the endorsement. Nograles earlier said the party is pushing through with a Go-Duterte tandem, but Go said he is still not interested in running for president, even though he said he will consider running for president if Duterte is his running mate.

Sought to comment, Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s secretary general said they respect Go’s pronouncements.

“We respect Sen. Go’s position and we are willing to wait,” Matibag said.