Cusi insists: Go is PDP-Laban's presidential bet

Published August 30, 2021, 4:01 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has insisted that Senator Christopher “Bong” Go should run for president in 2022 even as the latter already declined their party’s endorsement.

Senators Christopher ‘Bong’ Go (right) and Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao (left) pose for a photo during a Senate plenary session. Both lawmakers are being pushed to run for president in the 2022 polls. (Office of Sen. Go)

Go wrote to Cusi on Monday, August 30, to turn down his nomination as the Cusi-led Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction’s presidential candidate for next year’s polls.

But Cusi asked Go to reconsider his decision, saying they are “determined” to push for Go as their standard bearer.

“Nevertheless, we are determined to endorse you as PDP-Laban candidate for President of the Philippines in the coming national elections,” Cusi said in response to Go.

For Cusi and his faction, the former presidential special assistant and neophyte senator has the “leadership qualities” to be the Philippines’ next president.

“Which, among others, are: humility, sincerity, strong political will, honesty, good sense of justice, and innate goodness and goodwill towards your fellowmen…These traits that you share with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, make you the logical successor to be our country’s next President,” he claimed.

Go, they said, is the “best candidate” to run with Duterte, who already confirmed that he will run for vice president.

“The two of you are the best pair to lead our country forward,” Cusi further said.

“We are convinced that we made the right choice. We earnestly hope that you will reconsider,” he added.

Before deciding to join the 2019 midterm elections, Go, in several instances, had said that he will not run for the Senate. But Duterte himself said his trusted aide was interested in the post.

The Cusi-led wing in the PDP-Laban has been pushing for a Go-Duterte tandem in 2022, but critics, including the faction of Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, suspected that this will later to pave the way for a Duterte-Duterte tandem, involving the president’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Cusi’s group denied the claim, even as some members have already expressed support for the Davao City mayor’s possible presidential bid.

The other PDP-Laban faction, meanwhile, is supporting the potential candidacy of Pacquiao for presidency.