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Espinoza: Immunity against combinations?

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THE dye is poured. President Rodrigo Duterte will run for the vice-presidency of his PDP-Laban party in the general elections on May 9, 2022. He received deafening applause on Saturday July 17 from his party comrades and supporters during the the party’s national assembly in Clark, Pampanga, when he candidly announced his decision to run for vice-president.

But President Duterte’s announcement might not appeal to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and his faction at PDP-Laban which pushed the president through a resolution to run for vice-president with Senator Bong Go as Presidential bet because it is now very clear that the decision of the president to run is to keep him safe from prosecution and not because of the insistence of the party.

Well, whatever you say about President Duterte, the fact remains that he is not shy about what he wanted to say. Everyone laughed when he joked that he would run a thousand times, so his critics, like former Senator Antonio Trillanes and former SC Judge Antonio Carpio, couldn’t prosecute him after his tenure. Seriously, it shows that the president has hunches about what he becomes when he is no longer in power.

But legal luminaries say President Duterte is wrong because our Constitution does not provide immunity from prosecution for the vice president.

All kidding aside and so to speak, Cusi’s faction should be grateful for President Duterte’s criticisms because without their threats to sue the president when he is no longer in office, he would have retired from politics and possibly have. be given the opportunity to Congressman Leyte Martin Romualdez or former Senator Bongbong Marcos to be his daughter’s running mate, the mayor of Davao, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has previously declared herself a candidate for her party’s presidency Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

But what was obviously lacking in this national assembly of the PDP-Laban Cusi-wing is the formal nomination of their presidential candidate. Although, at Cusi’s party convention in Cebu City, they approved Senator Go as their presidential bet to team up with the president, but he repeatedly declined. Is the Cusi faction now laying the groundwork for Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as the official presidential candidate?

It is the bone of contention of Senator Koko Pimentel, executive chairman of the PDP-Laban, against Cusi that they have a secret candidate for the presidency, who is not a member of the party, which is prohibited by the Constitution and the PDP-Laban regulations. Senator Koko’s father, the late Senator Nene Pimentel, was the founder of PDP-Laban. Due to infighting within the administration party, the interim chairman of the PDP-Laban, Senator Manny Pacquiao, was expelled and, naturally, Cusi was elected chairman.

There is no ban for political parties to regroup, which is one of the strategies of politicians to ensure their victory in the elections. If Mayor Sara’s HnP merged with the PDP-Laban Cusi wing, then the result would be a daughter and father team, Duterte-Duterte. This is a smart strategy as there would be no confused or misplaced vote for President and Vice President if Mayor Sara registered her maiden name with Comelec.

Last week I wrote and guessed that the possible presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections are the partnership of Senator Ping Lacson and Senate Speaker Tito Sotto against the Duterte- tandem. Duterte. Mayor Sara has already announced that his HnP will merge with other political parties to expand and strengthen its reach in the country. To Senators Koko and Manny, sorry boys, you are now the outcast of your own party.