Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is the presidential bet of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), a decision which has long been arrived at but was kept under wraps.
The neophyte senator and former Philippine National Police chief filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City on Friday, accompanied by party president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Senator Francis Tolentino.
His running mate is Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who filed his COC on Saturday.
“It was a party decision for me to run. It was decided long ago but we just kept it a secret. It’s part of our strategy. If you announce early, they will come after you. So, we hid the decision,” dela Rosa said in an interview.
Asked if there is a possibility that he will be substituted by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, dela Rosa said it will be a welcome development but the decision is not his to make.
“That would be good. But this is a party decision. This is not my personal decision,” he added.
The lawmaker said he has no idea if the PDP-Laban is talking to Duterte, who had repeatedly said she intends to stay as mayor for the next three years.
“I don’t know if there are still talks with her. I don’t know how we will do it,” dela Rosa said. (Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)