Duterte accepts PDP-Laban call for 2022 VP run

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24)— President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted PDP-Laban's endorsement for him to run for vice president in the 2022 polls, the ruling party said on Tuesday.

In a statement, PDP-Laban said Duterte "agreed to make the sacrifice and heed the clamor of the people."

The chief executive's decision was announced during a meeting with party officials on Monday night.

Duterte's possible vice presidential bid was floated as early as May, when PDP-Laban members adopted a resolution pushing him to run for the post.

Earlier this month, the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi formally endorsed Duterte as its vice presidential bet, with Senator Bong Go eyed as the standard bearer for next year's elections.

Go, however, said he is "still not interested" in seeking the presidency at this point as he remains focused on his job in the upper chamber.

The President's longtime former aide earlier said he would leave his fate to Duterte, as well as presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who is also pondering on a presidential bid.

Who's part of the Senate slate?

Meanwhile, PDP-Laban also revealed an initial list of personalities who will form part of its senatorial slate. They are:

- House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta

- DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan

- Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

- DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade

- DPWH Secretary Mark Villar

Cusi said he also reached out to Sen. Manny Pacquiao and asked him to consider joining their senatorial ticket, stressing the members will give their "full support" for the boxer-turned-politician.

While Pacquiao has yet to formally declare his plans for 2022, his spokesperson and political adviser previously told CNN Philippines that his presidential bid is already set in stone.

READ: Now up to Comelec: Pacquiao-led PDP-Laban also submits officers' names to poll body

Officials react

Senate President Tito Sotto, who is also eyeing the vice presidency, welcomed PDP-Laban's announcement. "That's good to know so that we are not guessing," he said in a message to reporters.

His running mate Senator Ping Lacson said the development won't affect the tandem's decision to run in 2022.

"We have already declared and at this point in time, there is no turning back," Lacson said. "That said, we continue to hope that the electorate will not be swayed by entertainment politics nor affected by fear and intimidation when they choose our country's next leaders."

Opposition coalition 1Sambayan said Duterte’s decision was not surprising.

“It shows a clear mockery of our Constitution and democratic process. Obviously, this is driven by fear of accountability both from the ICC (International Criminal Court) and from our own justice system,” the group said in a statement, adding that the candidacy is “both legally and morally wrong.”

CNN Philippines' Eimor Santos and Alyssa Rola contributed to this report.