President Rodrigo Duterte has sought the support of congressmen for the Christopher Go-Sara Duterte-Carpio tandem for the May 2022 national elections.
In a meeting at Malacanang Tuesday night, Duterte also sought the support of the congressmen for his own candidacy for senator.
Diwa Party-list Rep. Michael Edgar Aglipay, one of the congressmen who attended the supposed “relaxed dinner-meeting” with the President said about 100 congressmen led by Speaker Allan Velasco attended the meeting.
“The President delivered a short speech where he endorsed the Bong Go-Sara Duterte tandem,” Aglipay told reporters.
"Standing order, SBG (Senator Bong Go), Sara for 2022 in his (Duterte's) speech," Aglipay added.
The meeting was open to all House members, regardless of their party affiliations. Some were directly called by Malacañang or through Velasco's office.
Sources said the dinner had been organized since Sunday or a day after Sara filed her certificate of candidacy for vice president.
It was not immediately known if Duterte pushed for a reorganization at the House of Representatives.
Go himself said: "We had a get-together last night in the Palace together with congressmen."
"They want to show their support to my candidacy and that of (sic) the President," Go said.
The President is joining the senatorial race in next year's election under the Partido ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) where Go is the PDDS' standard bearer.
Initially, Go filed his certificate of candidacy under the ruling PDP-Laban, but due to a leadership rift, he opted to run under PDDS.
It is also for the same reason why Duterte is seeking a Senate seat under PDDS.
According to Go, he promised House members he would continue the good programs of the President and expand them to help more people.
Acting Presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said the President was expected to join more similar gatherings with “friends and allies” considering the steady decline of COVID-19 cases.
Nograles did not identify the names of the lawmakers in the meeting with President Duterte.
“It was, for the President, an opportunity to see friends he had not personally seen since the onset of the pandemic due to the restrictions that had been put in place,” Nograles said.