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Cusi denies hand in fielding outsider as PDP-Laban standard bearer for Eleksyon 2022


Energy Secretary and PDP-Laban vice chairman Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday denied his involvement on the alleged fielding of non-PDP Laban member as the ruling party’s standard bearer in Eleksyon 2022.

In an interview on ANC, Cusi agreed with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III that the PDP-Laban should support any of their members who will gun for presidency before fielding possible candidates from outside the party.

Weeks ago, Pimentel hinted of Cusi’s “secret agenda” in holding “unauthorized” national meeting, claiming the latter intends to gift the ruling party’s presidential nomination to an outsider.

“Tama ‘yon. We should support a partymate  and we have a process for that. The party has the process in selecting a candidate. Of course, we will give priority to our partymate and there is no, wala naman pong naging plano na magkakaroon ng adopting candidate for that matter. Wala po sa agenda 'yon,” Cusi said.

(That is right. We should support a partymate and we have a process for that. The party has the process in selecting a candidate. Of course, we will give priority to our partymate and there are no plans to adopt a candidate for that matter. That is not part of our agenda.)

Asked about Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles’ statement, saying members of the PDP-Laban are “naturally inclined” to support Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte— a non-PDP member— should she gun for the country’s top post, Cusi said there are individuals who are expressing their sentiments but so far there are no discussions on the possibility of a Duterte-Duterte tandem.

“Some of our party members individually are expressing this sentiment (supporting Sara), but it doesn’t mean that it is the position of the party. As I’ve said we have a process on that,” he said.

“Wala pa po 'yan di pa po namin napapag-discuss-an ‘yan. That is not even discussed in any of our meetings,” he said when asked if PDP-Laban will support a Duterte-Duterte tandem.

(That is not true. We have not discussed anything about that. That is not even discussed in any of our meetings.)

Cusi said the party has specific procedures should they adopt a non-PDP Laban member to be their standard bearer.

In the same ANC interview, Cusi mentioned that a Bong Go-Rodrigo Duterte tandem for Eleksyon 2022 is a “no secret” and a “possibility” as some members of the PDP-Laban have crafted a resolution pushing for the possible tandem.

In a meeting on May 31, the PDP-Laban national council, led by Cusi, adopted a resolution urging Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 elections and choose the party's standard bearer.

This move is not welcomed by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, PDP Laban’s acting president and executive vice chairman, respectively, saying the meeting was unauthorized.—AOL, GMA News