Former president Rodrigo Duterte has rallied his party —Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban)—to give their full support to the current president, saying they are not organizing a strong party just to quarrel with him.
"I would like to make this thing very very clear. We are not putting up a strong party against the party of the President," Duterte said in his speech after the election of a new set of PDP-Laban officers during its national assembly on Thursday, Sept. 29.
"We are not going to quarrel with him...We will be giving our full support to him," the tough-talking former leader added.
The Duterte led-PDP-Laban faction has elected Palawan 2nd District representative Jose Alvarez as its new president while Senator Robinhood Padilla is the new Executive Vice President.
Further in his speech, Duterte likened his fate to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. for being elected by the majority, giving them a strong duty to serve the country. He also expressed hopes that Marcos would lead the country by prioritizing the interest of Filipinos.
"I hope that...I wish the President good luck and I hope he would govern this country in accordance to what is the mandate of the people's interest," he said.
The former president went on to boost the morale of his party which he tagged as the "dominant party" in the country's political scene now.
"You hang on to this party because it will carry you into victory," he told the members.
He said he will vouch for them in the next elections as he urged them to "organize."
"We will organize. It's a good number to start a political movement. Sabihin ko sa inyo. Hindi naman bold prediction but it's just a projectory na kung ganito palagi ang takbo ng gobyerno (I'm telling you. This is not a bold prediction but it's just a projectory that if the government will continue to be run like this), without criticizing anybody, you will win in the next election. Sigurado 'yan (That's for sure). I will campaign for you," he said.
Other elected officers of the Duterte-led party are Parañaque City 1st District Rep. Edwin Olivarez as Vice President for National Capital Region; Senator Francis Tolentino as Vice President for Luzon; Cebu City Mayor Mayor Michael L. Rama as Vice President for Visayas; Senator Bato Dela Rosa as Vice President for Mindanao; Atty. Melvin Matibag as Secretary General; Deputy Speaker Aurelio "Dong" Dueñas Gonzales Jr. as Treasurer; Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go as Auditor.
Other officials include Astra Pimentel as Membership Committee Chairperson; Atty. Richard Nethercott as the party's Legal Affairs & Arbitration; Usec Jonathan Malaya as Public Information Chairperson; Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho as Finance officer; San Juan City Rep. Ysabel Zamora as Youth Affairs officer; Rianne Cuevas as Livelihood officer; and Atty. Yvette Cutaran Contacto as Education officer.