The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has expressed its desire for former president Rodrigo Duterte to lead its senatorial slate in the upcoming 2025 midterm elections. This announcement was made during a virtual press briefing by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a staunch ally of Duterte, who revealed that the majority of party members had chosen the former chief executive as their top pick.
The news of Duterte’s potential candidacy has generated much excitement within the party. However, the final decision ultimately lies with the former president himself. Dela Rosa emphasized that while there is enthusiasm surrounding Duterte’s possible run, the decision ultimately rests with him.
It is important to note that Duterte’s potential senatorial bid is not motivated by a desire for protection from the investigations that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to pursue regarding his administration’s drug war campaign. Dela Rosa clarified that Duterte’s intention to run for the Senate is unrelated to these investigations.
Both Dela Rosa and Duterte are among the respondents in complaints filed before the ICC, accusing them of committing crimes against humanity during the implementation of the war against illegal drugs, known as “Oplan Tokhang” in Filipino. Despite this, Duterte’s decision to run for the Senate is not driven by a desire to seek immunity from these proceedings.
During his presidency, Duterte served as the chairman of the PDP-Laban, which is currently the ruling political party in the Philippines. His presidency was notable for being the first time a president hailed from Mindanao and for him being the oldest to assume office, starting his term at the age of 71.
In 2022, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued a certificate of finality, recognizing the PDP-Laban faction led by former president Duterte as the official party. This certificate was based on a Comelec en banc resolution that identified the Duterte-chaired PDP-Laban as the legitimate party, distinguishing it from the other PDP-Laban wing led by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr.
A recent survey conducted by Publicus Asia Inc. further solidified Duterte’s popularity among potential voters. The survey, called the Pahayag End of Year voting disposition survey, revealed that Duterte was the leading choice for senator in the 2025 elections. The former president garnered 48 percent of respondents, securing the top spot on the hypothetical Senate list. Additionally, Duterte received an impressive trust rating of 59 percent.
Following closely behind Duterte in the survey results is Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support Partylist Representative Erwin Tulfo, who obtained a 44 percent voting predisposition and a parallel 44 percent trust rating.
The Pahayag 2023 End of the Year Survey was conducted from November 29 to December 4, 2023, and involved 1,500 respondents nationwide. The survey sample was limited to registered Filipino voters maintained by PureSpectrum, a US-based panel marketplace with a multinational presence.
As the PDP-Laban sets its sights on the 2025 midterm elections, the potential inclusion of former president Rodrigo Duterte as the party’s senatorial candidate has captured the attention and enthusiasm of its members and supporters. With Duterte’s popularity and trust rating, his potential candidacy could have a significant impact on the political landscape in the Philippines. However, it remains to be seen whether Duterte will ultimately choose to run and how his candidacy will unfold in the coming months.
Source: The Manila Times