Cusi named president at PDP-Laban national assembly

Maris Federez   •   July 17, 2021   •   299

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Cusi-faction on Saturday (July 17) held a national assembly in Clark, Pampanga.

The PDP-Laban national council met on Friday and opened the nominations for a fresh batch of officers.

The national assembly on Saturday morning declared all national positions and committee chairmanship vacant, including the position of Sen. Manny Pacquiao as Party President, as the period of nomination wrapped up.

In the election of new officers on Saturday afternoon, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi emerged as the new party president.

The rest of the new officers is as follows:

  • EVP Carlo Alexei Nograles
  • VP for NCR Edwin Olivarez
  • VP for Luzon Raul Lambino
  • VP for Visayas Ben Evardone
  • VP for Mindanao Charito Plaza
  • National Treasurer Rianne Cuevas
  • Auditor General Christopher Lawrence Go

Committee chairpersons:

  • Membership- Astravel Naik
  • Education- Noel Felongco
  • Finance -Antonio Kho
  • Legal -Richard Nethercot
  • Public Information – Jonathan Malaya
  • Livelihood- Reymar Mansilungan
  • Youth Affairs – Maria Katrina Nicole Contacto

The group of Senator Manny Pacquiao, however, refused to recognize the assembly and labeled the elections illegal.

“Thousands of bona fide and original grassroots members of PDP-Laban strongly denounced personalities (party officials) who are behind the party’s purported national assembly in Clark, Pampanga and described the election of its new officers as a farce, illegal and not sanctioned by the general membership,” the group said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Pacquiao also called out the group of Cusi for prioritizing politics amid the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“Kung sa tingin nila Cusi at iba pa na mas importante ang pulitika sa ngayon, bahala na sila. Sa huli, isa lang naman ang tanong na dapat sagutin. Sino ba ang sasamahan ng taong bayan?” Pacquiao said.

Senator Koko Pimentel, son of the PDP-Laban co-founder Nene Pimentel, Jr., in another statement, said that the Clark, Pampanga gathering hosted by Sec. Cusi is not recognized by the existing leadership.

“Since Sec Cusi wants to be a stickler for rules then he should follow all the rules of the Party. You cannot make attendees to a PDP-Laban party assembly instant members of the party on the spot! As far as the present PDP-Laban leadership is concerned we will continue to function as the party,” Pimentel said. —/mbmf

Sara Duterte won’t seek national post in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Thursday said she will not run for a national position in the 2022 elections.

Duterte-Carpio issued the statement after her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, formally accepted his party’s nomination for vice president.

“Yes, I am not running for a national position as we both agreed only one of us will run for a national position in 2022,” Mayor Sara told reporters in a message.

PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi endorsed Duterte as the party’s vice president bet, and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go as president.

Go, however, declined the nomination as PDP-Laban’s presidential candidate, stressing that he is not interested.

When asked if her father’s political plans would affect her own, the younger Duterte replied with: “It does not affect any of my plans but as we both agreed only one from the family will run for a national position.”

The presidential daughter also said that her regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), will not support the Go-Duterte tandem in next year’s polls. Sara’s party supported PDP-Laban candidates in the 2019 elections.

“No. I will not share my light this time,” she said.

Mayor Sara also reiterated that her relationship with her father remains the same.

“Our politics do not interfere with our familial relationship. Iba ang trabaho, iba ang pamilya. Walang personalan,” she said.

Mayor Sara is not a member of PDP-Laban or any national party, making her ineligible to become a substitute candidate to Go or her father. Under the law, substitutes must be a member of the same political party.

Sara Duterte-Carpio has consistently topped presidential election surveys.

Several political parties have also declared their support for the mayor should she decide to join the presidential race. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pacquiao insists legitimacy of his PDP-Laban group after Cusi faction files petition

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday maintained that they are the legitimate members and representatives of the ruling political party PDP-Laban.

Pacquiao issued the statement after the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi filed a petition urging the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to declare them as illegitimate members of the PDP-Laban.

“Hihintayin natin ang desisyon ng COMELEC kasi naniniwala kami na kami ang legit PDP,” Pacquiao said in a virtual press conference he held after he ended his 10-day quarantine.

“Ang mahigit 100,000 members ng PDP naniniwala sa ’tin, nakasuporta at nandito lahat sa atin ang lahat ng database ng partido mula ng ito ay itinatag hanggang sa kasalukuyan,” he added.

Cusi’s wing on Tuesday filed a petition seeking to declare Pacquiao and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III as illegal representatives of the party.

In response to the petition, Pimentel maintained that there is only one PDP-Laban founded by his father, former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., which he “never left together with thousands of party diehards at the grassroots level.”

Pimentel’s faction has been pushing for the possible presidential bid of Pacquiao while Cusi’s was endorsing the tandem of Senator Bong Go and President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2022 elections.

Cusi’s faction earlier held a convention where they formally nominated the Go-Duterte tandem.

Pacquiao, meanwhile said they will also have their own convention on Sept. 19 where they will elect new party officials and reveal their plans for the upcoming elections.

The two factions have been locked in an ongoing rift, with Pimentel’s group ousting Duterte as party chairman and Cusi from party leadership.

Cusi’s camp also removed Pimentel as the party’s executive vice chairman and Pacquiao as party president.

Go declines PDP-Laban nomination for 2022 presidency

Maris Federez   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go has declined his nomination as Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) bet for the presidency in the 2022 National Elections.

Go, who did not attend the convention, released a statement Wednesday afternoon, expressing his gratitude for being nominated along with the President. He, however, reiterated that he is not interested to run for president.

”Sa mga kasamahan ko sa PDP-Laban, muli, taus-puso akong nagpapasalamat sa inyo para sa inyong tiwala at suporta sa akin at kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” Go said.

“Subalit, inuulit ko, hindi po ako interesadong tumakbo sa pagka-Pangulo sa darating na halalan,” he added.

He stressed that he’d rather focus his attention on public service in his capacity as a member of the Upper Chamber and implored his party mates to respect his decision.

“I have already respectfully declined your endorsement through a letter I sent last week. I am hoping that the party will continue to respect my decision,” he stated.

Go, nevertheless, expressed his continued support to the party.

“Gayunpaman, asahan ninyo ang aking buong suporta sa ating partido. Kahit hindi ako tumakbong Pangulo, patuloy pa rin naman akong magmamalasakit at magseserbisyo sa sambayanang Pilipino upang malampasan ang krisis na ating hinaharap at maipagpatuloy ang mga magagandang nagawa ni Pangulong Duterte,” he said. —/mbmf

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