MAYOR Sara Z. Duterte will be given a freehand to choose her running mate in case she runs for President, a top official of her regional party said.
Former governor Anthony G. del Rosario, spokesperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), told TIMES that it will be dependent on Duterte to choose her running mate as “it is very important for a candidate for President to choose her running mate because she needs to be comfortable with the person that she is running with.”
“In all likelihood, she will play a big hand in choosing the (candidate for vice president),” del Rosario added, although he has yet to know what the mayor will do in case she runs for the position because she might ask for a recommendation from HnP and from the coalition that the HnP is forming with five other national political parties.
The mayor earlier said that in case her father runs for vice president, she will not pursue any plan for president.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey that came out, the daughter-father tandem emerged as the top names among the preferred candidates for President and Vice President, respectively.
The younger Duterte earlier said that she also believes her father, if he chooses to run for Vice President, will not run under her slate as he said the Presidency is not for a woman.
Aside from her father, among the names identified as her possible running mate include former Defense secretary Gilbert Eduardo Gerardo Teodoro Jr., former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go.
On the coalition with five other national parties, del Rosario said a memorandum of agreement has not been signed because the provisions that would be included have yet to be finalized.
This is a challenge, he pointed out, because each of the parties have their own policies and that one thorny issue is on the issue of what to do in the campaign trail especially if two of the parties have their respective local candidates.
“We are going through with the MOA (memorandum of agreement) and we are trying to fix it,” he added, pointing out that he believes the HnP will still sign the agreement even when the mayor decides to abandon the plan of running for the highest position.
Among the parties that have signified their intention to support the mayor are the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, the National Unity Party, the Nacionalista Party, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and the People Reforms Party.
On the Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the party of the President, del Rosario said there has not been any discussion because “of intra-party intramurals.”
Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao, PDP-Laban president, has expressed his interest in running for President, while the bloc of the President within the party has expressed its support for the mayor. The President sits as its chair.
On the senatorial lineup, although he confirmed there were names that have been floated, del Rosario said there is nothing concrete since the agreement has yet to be signed even as each party in the coalition is allowed to name a candidate that will be included in the slate.
On the move of Duterte to consult the grassroots, del Rosario said that he believes that the remaining period before the filing of candidacy in October will be enough for her to get the pulse of the people because “she does not need to visit all the municipalities, but the big provinces and cities.”
“She really needs to consult her family, her political allies and most importantly her grassroots supporters so that she will know their thought about the plan for her to run,” he said.
However, he said he has yet to know whether there is a schedule for the consultation process of the mayor, although leaders of the coalition on their own, have initiated actions to help her candidacy in case she runs for President.
Del Rosario said visiting the provinces nationwide will help her realize that the people want her to run.
Duterte confirmed on Monday that she went to Cebu last week not only to meet with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia but to ask permission from the mayors of the province to allow her to consult their constituents.
On Thursday, the mayor was in Zamboanga City to sign a sisterhood agreement with Mayor Maria Isabelle Cimaco.
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