PDP-Laban can still adopt a Palace bet, but who will it be?

Published December 1, 2021, 11:46 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

A Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) official said Wednesday, Dec.1 that the ruling party still has the option of adopting a presidential aspirant for the 2021 elections.

Senator Bong Go (standing) and President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

This, as Cabinet Secretary and PDP-Laban Executive Vice President Karlo Nograles admitted that the party can no longer field its own candidate for the Palace race once Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go formalizes his withdrawal from the contest.

“Not possible anymore [to field a candidate]. Wala nang substitution (The substitution period is already over), number one. Technically speaking, dahil wala pong substitution (there is no more substitution). Then we may, ang option namin is (our option is), to adopt,” Nograles told ANC’s Headstart.

Go announced the withdrawal of his presidential bid Tuesday, Nov. 30. It happened just two weeks after he substituted PDP-Laban’s Senator Ronald dela Rosa as presidential candidate for the polls next year.

Although Go had run under a different party, the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan or PDDS, President Duterte had endorsed his supposed stab at the Palace seat. Duterte is the chairman of PDP-Laban.

Go’s withdrawal has created a strange scenario wherein the ruling political party in the country is left without an “annointed one” for the upcoming polls.

Asked by Headstart host Karen Davila if PDP-Laban was “automatically” going to support the tandem of presidential aspirant, former Senator Bongbong Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio following Go’s move, Nograles turned evasive.

“Let’s wait for the statement ng (of) PDP-Laban and the decision ng partido (of the party) becasue we have not yet made that decision. Kailangan dumaan din sa proseso yan eh (It must follow the process),” said Nograles, who also serves as acting presidential spokesperson.

“We’re also awaiting the formal withdrawal, if at all, if it happens. But just the same, because an announcement has been made, the PDP-Laban has to meet and look at its options. We will make a statement immediately after we’ve come to an agreement,” he added.

Duterte-Carpio is the eldest daughter of President Duterte. The elder Duterte had wanted her to run for the presidency.

When Davila asked Nograles to at least “narrow down” the presidentiables that the party was considering to adopt or endorse, the latter said that he didn’t want to preempt the party.

“Again ayokong pangunahan ang PDP-Laban kasi mag-uusap pa kami. Magde-desisyon pa kami. May series of meetings pa ang PDP-Laban (Again I don’t want to preempt PDP-Laban since we still have to discuss it. We will still have to decide on it. PDP-Laban will have a series of meetings on it),” he said.