President Rodrigo Duterte decided to withdraw his nomination as the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) “partly” due to a survey which found that majority of Filipinos believe it would be unconstitutional for him to seek the country’s second top government position.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, president of one PDP-Laban faction, confirmed that the president withdrew his acceptance of the ruling party’s nomination after the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey was released.
Later on, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) last Saturday as the party’s vice presidential candidate.
“When there was that survey saying 61 percent of Filipinos questioned the constitutionality of President Duterte running for vice president, the President found it wise and prudent for him not to run so there won’t be any more trouble, debate,” Cusi said during an ANC Headstart interview.
“Partly that helped him decide to withdraw from running for vice president,” he said.
The President has since then said he will retire from politics and floated the possibility of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, running for president alongside Go.
Asked if he believes the President may eventually change his mind again, Cusi said it is possible but the President is “firm” when he said he decided to retire from politics.
“He said enough, he has been a mayor, vice mayor, congressman, and the President. He has not looking for anything else. He has nothing more to prove, and it’s time for him to retire from politics,” he said.
“But the possibility of him changing his mind will always return. Depending on the situation; life is not static,” he said.
“We believe when he said retiring from politics. Even though somethings may happen and change his mind. Even though it may happen in the future. But the president is firm when he said he wants to retire from politics,” Cusi reiterated.
That is why, he said, the party will meet later to evaluate the PDP-Laban’s options for a presidential candidate.
Cusi said the PDP-Laban has yet to talk to the President’s daughter.