Bato says pres'l bid a party decision; Sara substitution may not be possible

Published October 8, 2021, 6:01 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said his decision to run for president under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is a decision of the ruling political party and has long been part of their plans.

“It was a party decision na tumakbo ako….matagal nang (plano) pero tinatago lang naming (it was a party decision for me to run…it has long been planned but we are keeping it under wraps),” Dela Rosa said during an interview after he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

But when asked if he thinks it would be better if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will run in his stead, the senator said he believes so.

“Edi mas maganda (It would be better),” Dela Rosa said. “But this is a party decision. This is not my personal decision,” he pointed out.

But as far as he is concerned, Dela Rosa said Duterte-Carpio is not a member of the PDP-Laban. The president’s daughter heads the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) a regional political party which she founded.

“Hindi (siya member). I don’t know how we will do it kung gano’n ang mangyari (if that happens). I don’t know. Basta ako tatakbo talaga ako para maging president (I will really run for president),” dela Rosa stressed.

Dela Rosa will run in tandem with Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, who earlier filed his COC for vice president, in the upcoming May 2022 national elections.

Asked if he thinks his presidential campaign and that of Go’s vice presidential bid would be a mockery of the election process, the senator snapped back.

“Why? Do I look like a mockery to you? Do I look like ay mockery to you? I won as senator. (I was) No. 5 in the last elections. No. 5 ako na senador (as a senator), is that a mockery? Is it a mockery to the 19 million Filipinos who voted for me as senator of this republic? Napakainsulto naman ng tanong na iyon di ba (That’s a very insulting question, right)?” an irked Dela Rosa said.