Malacañang is unsure if President Rodrigo Roa Duterte supports the decision of his ruling party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to endorse the candidacy of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
This, after the PDP-Laban adopted a resolution on Monday, formally endorsing Marcos’ presidential bid.
The PDP-Laban, in its resolution, said it has decided to support Marcos after the “careful and exhaustive” deliberations of its national executive committee.
It added that its decision was to “promote ‘Unity for Sustainability’ of socio-economic development and national progress” since Marcos is “the candidate whose vision of governance is most aligned with PDP-Laban’s 11-point agenda.”
Despite this, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte has yet to issue an official statement on his preferred successor.
“The PDP-Laban, just like any political party, is composed of members and officials. That is a collegial decision as a political party. But the President himself has not given any statement on the issue or if he or if he is not supporting this or that president,” Andanar said in a virtual press conference.
Andanar said it is “unclear” if Duterte, being the chairperson of the PDP-Laban, also endorsed Marcos’ presidential bid.
He added that it would be better to wait for Duterte’s formal announcement.
“So, let’s just wait for President Duterte’s announcement on his personal decision. And again, the PDP-Laban’s decision is based on the party has agreed upon. It is clear that that is the party’s decision but it is unclear if that is also the decision of President Duterte,” Andanar said.
On Saturday, Andanar said Duterte has not seen any compelling reason yet to support a presidential candidate.
Samar Governor Ben Evardone, acting as PDP-Laban vice president in Visayas, earlier expressed support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, basing it on Duterte’s recent statement that the country’s next president should be “compassionate and decisive” and a “lawyer”.
Of the 10 presidential hopefuls, only Robredo and Dr. Jose Montemayor are lawyers.