MANILA, Philippines — Senator Koko Pimentel expressed high hopes that the current conflict between two factions inside the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) will be resolved through the intervention of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
This is if the conflict within the party continues until the submission of sworn information and update statements (SIUS) listing the party’s current members and officers.
“The Comelec should have a procedure na on how to speedy resolve this. Pwede naman silang mag-trace back. Sino ba yung recognize namin na party, PDP-laban. Then step by step,” Pimentel, the party’s Executive Vice-Chairman said.
“Ngayon umatras sila. Doon sa nagke-claim na PDP Laban, umatras sila. Kung sino ngayon yung makaatras dun sa recognize ng Comelec, that should be their first choice,” Pimentel added.
For Senator Pimentel, emerging factions within the party are not new.
In November 2018, the Comelec ruled that Senator Pimentel’s faction is the duly authorized representative of the PDP-Laban against the rival faction led by lawyer Atty. Rogelio Garcia.
The camp of PDP-Laban’s Vice Chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi also expects the poll body to intervene and resolve the conflict.
“Kasi at the end of the day ang aming pagtatalo, sino ba ang magreresolba? Kung magtututuloy-tuloy ang pagtatalo? Ang Comelec,” noted Atty. Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban’s Acting Secretary-General said.
Comelec’s ruling over the two factions is critical because whoever leads the PDP-Laban signs all documents for submission to the poll body, including the party’s official list of candidates for the 2022 National Elections.
Based on Comelec’s calendar, they have until August 15 to submit their SIUS.
But the faction of Secretary Cusi is determined to resolve the conflicts and prevent any split in the party.
“We will not allow that. Aayusin namin ang PDP-Laban. After the meeting tomorrow, I promise you, we will have a stronger PDP-Laban,” Matibag said.
“There might be legal questions but we have prepared for it in any forum,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to political science expert Professor Dennis Coronacion, if President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly decides to exit the PDP-Laban and join other political parties, his popularity will not be affected.
“Same pa rin yan. Actually kung titingnan natin yung mga political parties naman talaga, they don’t matter sa Philippine politics. They only matter because kinakailangan ng candidate ng affiliation. I think it’s required by the Comelec,” Coronacion said. –MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)