Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told the story behind his presentation of his certificate of candidacy (COC) as the standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing last week.
Dela Rosa revealed that on Friday, the last day of the COC filing, he only found out that he would be the PDP-Laban’s as a presidential bet.
“Tinawagan ako 3:00 in the afternoon, na pumunta sa Sofitel para mag-file ng COC… Ang sabi sa akin ng liderato ng PDP-Laban na si Secretary Cusi, eh wala na tayong nakikita na puwedeng magpapatuloy sa legacy ni President Rodrigo Duterte na iiwan kundi [ako]… Totoo ‘yun, nabigla ako. Sino ba ang hindi magulat,” said Bato Dela Rosa.
Even his family, he said, was also surprised.
Bato Dela Rosa explained that he also wants to lead the country and continue Duterte’s programs, including tokhang.
However, Dela Rosa admitted that his status as a candidate may suddenly change before November 15, the last day of substitution of candidates.
He added that once Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio runs for president, he will wholeheartedly support.
“By all means I will withdraw at papalit siya,” said Dela Rosa.
Bato dela Rosa to withdraw presidential bid if Sara Duterte runs
But the election watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) has seen issues with Bato Dela Rosa’s sudden entry into the scene.
“Mas lalo itong pagbaba ng tingin ng mga Pilipino sa mga political parties, pangalawa, parang hindi na sineseryoso,” said LENTE executive director Rona Caritos.
Meanwhile, according to Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, the COC filing was successful from October 1 to 8.
“Sa kabuuan masasabi natin na naging matagumpay ang pagsasagawa natin ng filing ng COC sa buong bansa… We know that this only marks the beginning of the country’s election season,” said Abas.
(On the whole, we can say that we have been successful in conducting COC filings nationwide. However, we know that this only marks the beginning of the country’s election season.)
The Comelec is now screening the candidates’ COCs and certificates of nomination and acceptance to determine if they are eligible to run.