PDP-Laban Pacquiao-led wing denounces Cusi-led Clark assembly

Maris Federez   •   July 17, 2021   •   458

MANILA, Philippines — Other members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) have denounced the national assembly led by party vice-chairman, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Saturday.

“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.

Members of the more than 100 PDP-Laban chapters nationwide, in a simultaneous “zoom” meeting, said that “all party officials are elected by the party’s general membership and not by a few politicians who are not even full-fledged party members.”

They group also insisted that all actions made during the Cusi-led “illegal assembly” were not authorized nor sanctioned by party president Senator Manny Pacquiao, and that such moves have no force and effect over the PDP-Laban.

In the meeting, Jovel Lopez, who is a PDP-Laban community leader in Bulacan and a party cadre since the founding of the party by former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel in 1982, said he does not understand why party newcomers and interlopers are now trying to wrest control of the party.

“Nagtataka nga po kami kung bakit ngayon eh ang daming nagsulputang mga politiko na nagsasabing PDP daw sila at kami pa na mga orihinal na miyembro ang naitsa-pwera.  Hindi naman po kami basta-basta makakapayag na itong mga sabit na ito ang mamayagpag sa partidong aming itinayo,” Lopez said.

Meanwhile, CDO City Council President Marlo Tabac who is a PDP-Laban grassroots leader in Mindanao stressed that Pacquiao has the full support of the majority of the party members and does not recognize the proceedings and the actions taken in the Clark assembly.

“The Clark assembly is a farce. Karamihan naman sa mga nandoon ay pawang mga sabit lang sa partido and they are not even real members of PDP-Laban. Their political loyalty has never been with PDP-Laban so there’s really no doubt in my mind that they are out to destroy the party,” Tabac said.

“Let me remind them however that this was not the first time that people tried to bring down PDP-Laban but they failed. I can tell you now, they will fail again,” he added.

PDP-Laban founding member Executive Vice-Chairman Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, likewise, reminded the members to stay united behind the leadership of Pacquiao.

“Tayo po ay may hinaharap na pagsubok ngayon sa ating partido kaya ang importante ay manatili po tayong malakas at magtiwala sa liderato ng ating partido sa ilalim ng ating presidente na si Senator Manny Pacquiao. Huwag po tayong mag-alala kasi ang talaga ipinaglalaban namin dito ay yung boses po ng ating mga chapter members a buong bansa,” 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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