Duterte to attend PDP-Laban meet
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will lead Tuesday the national convention of his allies in the ruling PDP-Laban, where he will be formally nominated as the party's candidate for vice president in next year's elections.
Duterte is expected to be physically present during the event, which will be held in San Fernando, Pampanga and will be attended by about 400 party members, according to a PDP-Laban statement issued Tuesday.
Malacañang, however, said preparations were also made in case the 76-year-old leader cannot go to the venue.
"They (PDP-Laban) apparently have transferred to Pamapnga and there is a possibility that the President will make a personal appearance but there is also a back up for a virtual appearance," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing yesterday.
The PDP-Laban wing supportive of Duterte initially planned to hold its national convention in Bulacan but had to change the venue after the government retained the province's modified enhanced community quarantine status until the end of the month.
Party officials said less than 25% of the venue's capacity would be filled up during the convention in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols set by the government. The event center has a capacity of 2,500 people.
Under PDP-Laban's constitution, the party's national assembly shall nominate and proclaim its official candidates in the 2022 national election during its national convention.
Last month, Duterte accepted the endorsement of his allies for him to run for vice president. He was then quoted by Palace officials as saying that he won't join the race for vice president if his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio seeks the presidency.
The president has also reportedly said that his former aide Sen. Bong Go, who has been endorsed by PDP-Laban as its candidate for president, won't run if Carpio decides to gun for the highest post.
Carpio has urged Duterte and Go to stop talking about her and making her the reason for them running or not running. The mayor has also said that her father recently told her that he would seek the vice presidency while Go would join the race for president.
Roque then said that Duterte is running for vice president because "things are clear now."
Duterte's supporters have claimed that his decision to run for vice president would allow him to sustain the accomplishments of his administration. His critics, however, have assailed the move, calling it a "mockery" of the constitution.
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