Duterte for senator? He’ll campaign for Bato-Go tandem


STALWARTS of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan  are grooming President Duterte to shift from Chief Executive to lawmaker after completing his term in 2022, eyeing a Senate seat for him. The scenario would have Duterte switching posts with his two most trusted aides, Senators Ronald dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go, for whom he will campaign in their bid to be President and Vice President, instead.

This, as presidential allies, in turn, confirmed efforts by the ruling party to persuade Duterte to run for a Senate seat. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, current PDP-Laban president, suggested that with President Duterte running for senator, he could also be the campaign manager for the so-called “BaGo” tandem of Dela Rosa and Go, both trusted allies dating back to their Davao days.

In a statement, party stalwarts affirmed that  “President Duterte initially accepted the PDP-Laban nomination to run for Vice President,” but later decided to withdraw, with Senator Go taking his place, as VP bet. The ruling party then opted to field Dela Rosa as its presidential bet after Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President’s daughter, rejected repeated pleas to seek the highest position.

“Now, if the President [Duterte] would not run [for Vice President] because he is firm on his decision not to go back on his word, I said why not run for the Senate so he could bring change there? That will be good for the country,” Cusi said.

He added, however, that should President Duterte change his mind and decide to still run for Vice President, “there is no problem for the PDP-Laban to revert to its original plan of fielding the tandem of Sen. Bong Go for President and President Duterte for Vice President.”

As things stand, PDP-Laban is inclined to support and promote the tandem of Senators Dela Rosa and Go, Cusi claimed, adding that “what is good is that we will offer to the public a candidate for President and Vice President who both believe in the program of government that we [the PDP-Laban] are pushing and continue the ‘Build, Build, Build’ programs as well as the other programs that President Duterte has started.”

At the same time, Cusi aired expectations that “with President Duterte in the Senate, the “PDP- Laban can continue to push all the reforms needed in the Legislature.”

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