Manila 1st District Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez was named PDP Laban’s official candidate for mayor in Manila with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, who is also PDP Laban chairman, proclaiming the lawmaker’s run for Manila’s mayoralty race.

Meanwhile, the National Officers of PDP Laban said in a statement that they supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for a fair and objective inquiry into allegations of corruption.

 “(The inquiry) should not be conducted for purposes of persecution but solely for fact-finding. An inquiry that is not based on speculations, conjecture, assumptions, and political propaganda,” said the statement.

“We laud Senator Bong Go’s statement of willingness to resign if allegations of corruption are established as a matter of fact. We challenge those who are making the allegations or making use of the allegations to likewise resign from government—if they cannot prove by factual evidence that there was indeed corruption.”

The officers said they bore witness to the sincerity of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in fulfilling his duty as President.

“This is best exemplified by his advocacy against illegal drugs and criminality, which has given the Filipino people hope that these menaces can be neutralized. That drug lords and criminal syndicates will not find haven amongst politicians and persons in authority. That drug addiction afflicting our barangays – the basic political unit of our society – can be decisively and swiftly suppressed,” said the statement.

“We support President Duterte’s decisive action against Narco-Politics, which in the past has given protection to drug lords and crime syndicates as exemplified by the special privileges enjoyed by big time criminals detained at the National Bilibid Prison.”

The officers said they joined the majority of Filipinos who trust and approve President Duterte’s leadership, not only in dealing with criminality but also in addressing the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This support is validated by the latest published OCTA survey showing that 80% of Filipinos approve of the COVID-19 response of the National Government.

“We commiserate with the officials of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). These Departments are at the forefront of the government efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. To discredit them unjustly hinders their service delivery. If the political opposition has proof of corruption in the DOH and DBM, they should file the necessary charges instead of causing undue harm by fomenting intrigue to discredit the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” said the statement.

“We call on the people to be vigilant and discerning—to not be swayed by rhetoric and empty promises of those who want to gain political mileage as we near the coming National Elections. We stand firm in our support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and we call on the political opposition not to propagandize the Covid-19 pandemic to advance their political agenda.”