President Rodrigo Duterte has officially signed the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) that would signify him as the official candidate for vice president of a Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) faction in the upcoming May 2022 national elections.
Melvin Matibag, the PDP-Laban secretary general allied with the Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s faction, confirmed this on Thursday, Sept. 23.
“President Duterte signed the CONA last night meaning he has officially accepted the nomination of PDP-Laban…that was done in Davao (City),” Matibag said during an online press briefing.
Asked if this means that Duterte will really push through with his vice-presidential bid, Matibag said “yes.”
“I think that is the implication. Kasi wala naman nang (because we don’t see any) reason for him to withdraw it),” Matibag stressed.
Duterte, he said, signed the CONA in the presence of Cusi and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who are all party stalwarts of the PDP-Laban.
“Everybody is excited, everybody is gearing for the campaign in 2022. Masaya kami na yung talagang clamor, down to the grassroots—yung totoong grassroots ng PDP-Laban—ay talagang pinakinggan ng ating Pangulo (we’re happy because the president listened to the clamor from down to the grassroots, the real grassroots of the PDP-Laban),” the lawyer added.
Matibag also said the party is still waiting for Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go to finally accept his nomination as the party’s standard-bearer in next year’s polls.
“We’re still waiting for him to accept our nomination but sana yung action ni Presidente to sign and accept the nomination of PDP-Laban would help Sen. Bong Go decide on the matter ng mas mabilis (faster),” he stressed
Go, a former presidential aide of Duterte, has repeatedly declined the nomination to run for president saying he is not interested in the presidency.
Senator Manny Pacquiao’s group, however, accused their rival faction of using the Go-Duterte tandem as a “smokescreen for their real candidate” who is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the president’s daughter, who has expressed her openness to run for president but has yet to declare it.