Two PDP-Laban bets rethinking Senate bid as Duterte withdraws from VP race

Published October 4, 2021, 11:32 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Two senatorial candidates of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) are now contemplating whether they will still pursue running for the Senate in the upcoming May 2022 elections.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi confirmed this on Monday, Oct. 4, saying Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III are now having second thoughts if they will still seek a Senate seat after President Duterte withdrew his nomination to be the ruling political party’s vice presidential candidate.

“When the President decided not to run, of course, emotions were running,” Cusi said in an interview over ANC’s Headstart.

“When Secretary Tugade and Bello learned about it, now they’re also assessing whether they will also withdraw, or not file their (certificate of) candidacy. Because they want to be with the President should they decide to run for the Senate ,” the Cabinet official said.

Cusi said they would be meeting later today to discuss the matter.

But he said the President’s chief legal counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo will still run for the Senate. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chair Greco Belgica and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque are also bent on seeking a Senate seat.

“But Secretary Panelo will still run, Secretary Villar, Secretary Greco (Belgica), and Secretary Roque will still run,” the official said.

He also said there are other senatorial candidates that they are considering adopting under the PDP-Laban.

“We have more than 12 (senatorial bets) in our list. But because they are coming from other parties we will still be discussing that,” he said.