MANILA – The presidential candidate of the political party Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) on Friday expressed willingness to "give way" in case Davao City Mayor Sara "Inday" Duterte decides to seek the highest government post.
In a virtual forum, PDDS presidential bet Grepor Belgica said his party is still hoping that Mayor Sara would heed the public's clamor for her to join the 2022 presidential derby.
Belgica said he would drop his candidacy for president, in case the presidential daughter gives in to the persistent calls for her to gun for the presidency.
"Ang totoo po niyan ay nag-appeal po kami sa kaniya (The truth is we made an appeal to her) formally and officially to consider (running for president). And we are willing to give way to her," he said.
Belgica said the PDDS, as well as its allied political parties, would give their full support to Duterte's potential presidential run.
"We pray that Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, with her father's support, runs for president. The PDDS and its allied groups will go all out for her victory in the (presidential) polls," he said.
Belgica is the father of Greco, current chair of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and Jeremiah who is the director-general of the Anti-Red Tape Authority.
Despite being the most preferred presidential candidate in the pre-election surveys, Sara has rejected the calls for her to run for president, saying she has already decided to run for her third and final term as Davao City mayor.
She, however, still has until November 15 to change her mind about her next year's political plans.
Her supporters are still optimistic that she would replace Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa as the standard bearer of the ruling political party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Dela Rosa, who made a surprise move when he filed his certificate of candidacy for president during the last day of filing on October 8, is seen as a "placeholder" candidate for Sara.
Quizzed if the PDDS is also willing to support dela Rosa's presidential bid, Belgica said the senator still needs to "convince" the party that he could lead the country and continue President Rodrigo Duterte's legacies.
"Kung siya (dela Rosa) ang piliin ni Presidente, susuportahan namin. Pero sa ngayon, kailangan kumbinsihin niya kami na talagang kaya niya (If the President picks dela Rosa, we will support him. But for now, he needs to convince us that he is competent)," he said.
Dela Rosa is paired with Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, who was originally the PDP-Laban's presidential candidate but decided to run for vice president after Duterte dropped his plan to seek the second top post in the country.
Belgica said the PDDS is hopeful that Duterte would pick a "winnable" presidential candidate.
He said the party is also considering supporting Go, in case the lawmaker opts to reconsider his nomination as the PDP-Laban's presidential bet.
He said Go is qualified to run for president since he also acts as the older Duterte's "data bank."
"If she (Sara) declines to run for national office, we pray divine guidance and wisdom be upon President Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte to choose whosoever is trustworthy, such as Senator Christopher Lawrence Go or someone he fully trusts. That is to ensure his manner and kind of governance," Belgica said. (PNA)