The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) faction led the Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s plan to push President Duterte to run in the upcoming May 222 senatorial elections shows desperation on their part, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said on Thursday.
“(It) shows desperation on the part of Cusi and his group,” Pimentel said in a statement when sought to comment on the rival faction’s attempt to convince Duterte to run for a Senate seat.
“They give impression that they do not have strong candidates within their group and that they are all simply riding on and are totally dependent on the popularity and strength of personality of the incumbent president,” said Pimentel.
Pimentel is head of the rival faction of the PDP-Laban which is fielding Sen. Manny Pacquiao as their presidential candidate and Rep. Lito Atienza as their vice president.
Cusi’s group is fielding Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa as their standard bearer and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go as his running mate.
Earlier, Cusi said in an interview they are trying to convince the Chief Executive to run for the Senate under their senatorial slate in the upcoming polls.
Cusi also said the President could act as campaign manager for Dela Rosa and Go to strengthen and boost their chances of winning in the elections.
Pimentel, whose group has disowned Cusi’s faction, said their plan to push for Duterte to run for the Senate is a good example of “personality politics.”
“That for us is ‘personality politics’ which we want to see ended here in the Philippines as soon as possible. We should all aspire for issues-based politics,” Pimentel said.
“The good future of our country is better assured by a program of government approved by the people thru their votes than by blind loyalty to a mortal person with the expectation of a return favor,” he stressed.