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Palace: No desperate attempt to keep Duterte in power

By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: PCOO

“Wala pong desperadong tangka na mapanatili siya sa kapangyarihan.”

This was what Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had to say in response to the criticisms that President Rodrigo Duterte being urged by the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) to run as vice president is a desperate move to perpetuate him in power.

“Hindi siya mananatili beyond his term of office. When it is not prohibited, it must be allowed,” Roque said in a media briefing, adding that such calls for Duterte’s vice presidency have no legal impediment under the 1987 Constitution.

On Monday, May 31, the party adopted a resolution seeking to “convince” Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 national elections.

The party’s meeting was held in Cebu city despite the order from Senator Manny Pacquiao to ignore the invitation made by Energy Secretary and PDP-LABAN Vice-Chairperson Alfonso Cusi.

On Saturday, May 28, Roque said it was Duterte who authorized Cusi to “organize, convene, and preside” the event.

Pacquiao’s camp said they would try to meet with Duterte to tackle the party’s stand ahead of the filing of certificates of candidacy in October. But, there is no schedule given to date.

Despite this, Roque, who is not a member, stood firm that the party is not troubled by factions.

“There is no problem with the party, Senator Pacquiao remains the president of the party,” he added.


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