Duterte backing PDP-Laban bets with 'sack of money' to ensure 2022 win

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, CNN Philippines, October 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to support the campaigns of political aspirants of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), including providing "sacks of money".

"To the Party’s chosen local candidates for the 2022 Elections: Congratulations! Rest assured that the party will fully support you in your candidacy," he said during a speech at the oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members in Iligan City.

Duterte, the chairman of one faction of the squabbling ruling party, said that while he may fail to attend all of their political meetings, he assured PDP-Laban members he will campaign for them for next year's general elections.

"So maybe you can schedule one and I will go there and that would be my way of helping you," he said.

"I will also give you one sack of money to make sure that you will win," the President said. It was not clear whether that statement was one of his trademark outrageous remarks that Cabinet officials would later dismiss as only jokes not to be taken seriously.

"So I hope that your campaign will be successful. Whatever we have, we will give it to you."

Duterte also urged PDP-Laban party members "to ensure the integrity of the elections for your respective positions, despite the challenges that you may face."

"Keep in mind that your victory will not only be ours but more importantly of the nation. As a political party, we should continue to put the welfare and progress of our country and people on top of our priorities," he said.

Late in August, Duterte formally accepted PDP-Laban's endorsement for him to run for vice president next year. But in a last-minute surprise move, his longtime aid-turned-senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go filed his candidacy for vice president.

Duterte then bared his plan to retire from politics.

More recently, the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi appointed Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa as their standard-bearer in the 2022 elections.