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.