PDP-Laban National Convention will not be a ‘super spreader event’ – Cusi

Published September 7, 2021, 12:02 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) will follow strict health protocols to ensure that its National Convention, which would be held on September 8, Wednesday, will not be a “super spreader” event.

The camp of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who heads a faction in the PDP-Laban, made the assurance as they confirm that the event, originally slated to be held at the San Jose del Monte Convention Center in Bulacan has been moved to the Laus Group Complex in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

Cusi explained that since Bulacan’s quarantine classification has changed, they decided to move to an area that is under general community quarantine (GCQ).

He also said they are expecting around 400 members who will physically attend the convention while the rest would be joining the event via Zoom.

The group is expected to formally announce Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and President Rodrigo Duterte as the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidate in the upcoming May 2022 national elections. Cusi’s faction is also set to announce their senatorial candidates during the event.

Asked why they have chosen to hold a physical assembly in consideration of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Cusi said the people would like to see their national leaders in person.

“We really debated on this, and studied what is best and decided to go hybrid,” Cusi said in an online press briefing.

“Hindi namin pupunuin, and you can see that the vast majority of the members would be joining virtually. May mga pinili lang tayo na mga members, mostly the voting members, would be joining the meeting tomorrow,” said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, who is the party’s public information committee chair.

Malaya also said they have required a result of an RT-PCR test valid for 48 hours for those who would be attending the convention. They also said that those who will attend should be fully vaccinated and required to bring their vaccination card, in addition to the wearing of face mask and face shield.

“So the event tomorrow will not be a super spread event. We are doubling all of our protocols. Not just the ones enforced by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) but also the Presidential Security Group (PSG) which is securing the President, to make sure that all regulations are fully complied with,” Malaya added.

Cusi also downplayed insinuations their group want to hold the National Convention physically as a “show of force.”

“No, it’s not a show of force, it’s just because the elections is near, the filing of (certificates of candidacies) is on October 1, in accordance to Comelec (Commission on Election) rules, and we have to make sure that the party complies with all the requirements,” Cusi said.

Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban secretary general, said they are expecting the program to last for two to three hours.