MANILA, Philippines — The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) has expelled party vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, deputy secretary-general Melvin Matibag, and membership committee head Astra Naik.
In a statement, PDP-Laban said the officials were expelled from the party for violating its constitution by showing allegiance to a political party apart from them.
It added that three resolutions were issued in response to a manifesto signed by more than 10,000 grassroots members of the PDP Laban which condemned “this systematic and underhanded effort by some party newcomers and a handful of party officers to sabotage the present leadership, so they may advance a political movement that is against the best interest of our beloved party.”
The statement said the expulsion of Cusi, Matibag, and Naik was explained in Resolution No.6 issued by Party President Sen. Manny Pacquiao and the PDP Laban National Executive Committee (NEC).
The Resolution, dated June 12, 2021, formally removed Cusi, Matibag, and Naik from the party for violation of Article VII Section 6 of the Party Constitution which specifically prohibits members from maintaining any allegiance to another political party.
“Vice Chairman Cusi is already manipulating the party to support the Duterte-Duterte tandem which is a blatant admission of supporting Sara Duterte Carpio for President, who is not a member of the Party. He is guilty of having allegiance to a candidate and her political ideals and party,” the resolution stated.
PDP-Laban members “were likewise directed to cease and desist from following, supporting, or giving legitimacy to any directive, resolution, notices, communications, or actions of Vice-Chairman Alfonso Cusi, Ms. Astra Naik, and Atty. Melvin Matibag related to or derived and resulting from the aforementioned acts and the meeting held on May 31, 2021,” the resolution said.
Resolution No. 4 was also issued by the NEC authorizing Pacquiao to “direct, organize, create and appoint investigation committees from the National Committees” to deal with complaints and information regarding certain officers and members of the party who may have violated the Party Constitution or may have committed acts inimical to the Party by showing allegiance to another Party.
“There is a need for PDP-Laban to take appropriate actions by reason of the exigencies brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unauthorized and illegal acts committed by some of its officers and members with the insidious purpose of illegally wresting control over the Party by violating the Party Constitution, violating the law, sowing confusion, fostering friction, creating a divide within the Party and showing allegiance to another party,” the resolution stated.
Resolution No. 5, on the other hand, was issued to declare the nullity of the March 31, 2021 meeting and the scheduled July 17, 2021 assembly of the PDP Laban National Council that was called upon by Cusi and Matibag, the statement said.
The resolution reiterated that Cusi does not have the power to call for a National Council meeting because Article XVII Section 1 of their Constitution provides “that only the President of the party is authorized to sign documents on behalf of the National Council and the Party.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General Melvin Matibag has also issued a statement on this recent development.
“I don’t wanna give credence to their actions. They don’t have any authority to discipline National Officers. It’s just a way for them to hype their status in the media. We will just see them in the National Council and National Assembly. These two are the highest governing bodies of the PDP Laban,” Matibag said.
“The committee of Senator Manny Pacquiao is irrelevant. July 17 National Assembly will be the day of their reckoning. We encourage them to challenge the actions of the National Assembly. Legally speaking, they don’t have any fighting chance,” he added. —/mbmf