PDP-Laban faction formally nominates Go-Duterte for 2022, but senator rejects endorsement anew

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8)— A faction within the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has officially endorsed the tandem of Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte as its presidential and vice presidential bets for the 2022 elections.

Members of the ruling party unanimously voted to nominate the two during their national convention held Wednesday in Pampanga.

Duterte, who presided over the event, thanked the group led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for the nomination.

"I am hopeful that this will allow me to continue serving the Filipino people and help lead the entire nation towards greater progress," Duterte said in his speech.

"Alam mo kung bakit ako tatakbo ng (Do you know why I'm vying for the) vice presidency? Is it ambition? Maybe. But is it really a sense of love of country? Yes. Because I want to see the continuity of my efforts even though I may not be the one giving the direction. Baka makatulong lang ako (Maybe I can help)," he added.

While Duterte accepted the call of the party members, Go maintained he would be declining the endorsement.

"I have already respectfully declined your endorsement through a letter I sent last week. I am hoping that the party will continue to respect my decision," the former special assistant to the President said in a separate statement.

Prior to the event, Go has repeatedly expressed he was not interested in seeking the presidency as he remains focused on his job as senator.

Initial Senate slate bared

Meanwhile, the Cusi-led group also named eight personalities that will make up its initial senatorial ticket.

They are:

- Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez

- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

- Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello

- Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Greco Belgica

- Rep. Rodante Marcoleta

- Public Works Secretary Mark Villar

- Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque

Amid the infighting in the ruling party, Cusi earlier said he reached out to Sen. Manny Pacquiao and asked him to consider joining their senatorial slate.

The boxer-turned-lawmaker has yet to formally declare his plans for 2022, but his spokesperson and political adviser previously told CNN Philippines that Pacquiao's presidential bid is already set in stone.

Pacquiao's faction is set to hold a separate convention later this month.

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