Partido ng Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Vice Chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the party is open to endorsing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as its presidential bet in 2022, adding that the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte was “more PDP” than Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Cusi, who was supposedly expelled from the party by a faction allied with Paquiao, the PDP-Laban president, said Sara Duterte already ran under the PDP-Laban while Pacquiao has not.
“Pacquiao has not yet ran under PDP-Laban using the party’s certificate of nomination and acceptance, while Mayor Sara is more PDP because she ran under the party for mayor,” Cusi said in a television interview in Filipino.
He added that Mayor Duterte is a third-generation member of the party following her father, President Duterte and her grandmother Soledad Duterte, before the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) was formed.
When queried if the ruling party will endorse the tandem of President Duterte and Mayor Duterte for 2022, Cusi said that was possible.
“It is possible but it has to go through a process in accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the party,” he added.
Duterte has so far said he rejects the expulsion of Cusi from PDP-Laban. Cusi and two other PDP-Laban officials were expelled by a group inside the party allied with Pacquiao, claiming Cusi and the two others pledged loyalty to another party by expressing support for Mayor Duterte’s presidential bid in 2022. The group allied with Pacquiao said Mayor Duterte belonged to another political party.