Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Friday filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Election (Comelec) to formalize his bid for the presidency in the upcoming May 2022 national elections.
Dela Rosa would be the presidential candidate of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. He would be running in tandem with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
Go surprised many after he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president last October 2, when he was initially chosen as the standard bearer of the ruling political party faction led by Cusi.
President Duterte, who was supposed to be Go’s running mate, withdrew his bid and announced that he is retiring from politics.
Melvin Matibag, secretary general of the PDP-Laban faction, said the party is now all set for a “Ba-Go 2022” campaign.
Dela Rosa was accompanied by Cusi and Sen. Francis Tolentino at the filing of his COC. He was wearing a green Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) shirt, a regional party formed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Cusi earlier said they might endorse the President’s daughter’s presidential bid.
However, Duterte-Carpio insisted she is bent on running for reelection for Davao City mayor.
Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and a known Duterte ally, was at the forefront of the Duterte administration’s violent war on drugs and the chief implementor of the government’s “Oplan Tokhang” which led to thousands of deaths in the Philippines.
Dela Rosa’s name was also cited in the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) pre-trial chamber, alongside Duterte, over his statements upholding the government’s brutal anti-illegal drug campaign.