Duterte to decide if Bato will run vs Sara if she becomes Lakas-CMD pres'l bet

Published October 12, 2021, 1:40 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) standard bearer Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he would first seek President Duterte’s approval to run should Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio decides to seek the presidency under the banner of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Dela Rosa said he would consider the President’s advice first before deciding whether he should drop out of the presidential race in next year’s May 2022 elections.

“I will ask the President, tatanungin ko siya ‘sir, papayag ka ba na kaming dalawa ni Mayor Inday magbabanggaan (I would ask him, sir, would you allow both of us to run against each other)?” Dela Rosa said.

“Kung sabihin niya na papayag siya (if he approves it), by all means, nandyan ako para sumunod sa ating Pangulo (I will abide by the President’s orders). Pero kung sabihin niya na huwag, then alam mon a ano ang gagawin ko (When he says don’t, you know what I’d do. But as I have said, mag-antay ako ng (I will wait for the) party decision,” the senator said.

Dela Rosa, however, reiterated he still prefers that only one of them would run for president in next year’s polls.

“Personally, mas maganda kung iisa na lang sa amin ang tatakbo para hindi mahati (ang boto) (it’s best if only one of us runs so that the votes won’t be divided). But still, I will abide by the party decision,” he said.

Earlier, Dela Rosa said he is “very much” willing to withdraw his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president if the presidential daughter seeks the presidency under the PDP-Laban.

Dela Rosa had admitted that his decision to run for president was only finalized about two hours before the last day of the filing of COC on October 8.

But the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi denied that Dela Rosa was a “last-minute choice” of their group.

Melvin Matibag, secretary general of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing, said Dela Rosa, Sen. Francis Tolentino and other Cabinet secretaries were among their potential candidates they considered.