PDP-Laban vs Sara Duterte party in 2019? Pimentel says ‘possible’

Camille Elemia
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, president of the ruling party, says they are planning to field candidates nationwide, including in Mindanao

NO EFFECT. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's creation of a new regional party would have no effect on PDP-Laban. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said it is possible that candidates of PDP-Laban and the new regional party of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte would face-off in the 2019 elections.

Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban, said the ruling party is set on fielding candidates nationwide.

“The challenge now to PDP-Laban is to field candidates all over the country, that is our plan,” Pimentel said, in a mix of Filipino and English, when asked on Monday, February 26.

Asked if this means PDP-Laban and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) would vie for the same posts in Mindanao, he said it is possible but nothing is final until October, the deadline for the filing of the certificates of candidacy.

“Theoretically possible pero wala pa kasi filing (there’s no filing yet). Sa October po natin malalaman, pero theoretically possible (We’ll know by October, but theoretically possible),” Pimentel said.

He also said the new party of the presidential daughter would not have any effect on them. President Rodrigo Duterte ran for president under PDP-Laban.

Citing party rules, Pimentel said members are allowed to join local political parties, like HNP, and party lists.

“It should not have any effect. My interpretation of our party Constitution, members of PDP-Laban can be a member of a local party and partylist. What Mayor Sara formed is a regional party, which is also a local party. So there should be no effect,” he said.

But some officials, like Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, have already bolted the ruling party to join HNP.

“Just this morning… I tendered my resignation as PDP member for reasons that we want to focus more on the region so we want to help the vision created by Hugpong specially headed by Mayor Sara,” Uy earlier told reporters in Davao City.

Duterte-Carpio earlier said there would be no issue should members remain with their existing national parties since the alliance is a regional one.

The Davao City mayor does not belong to any national political party, and said that in the past elections she ran under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, the Davao City party established by her father.

The presidential daughter earlier slammed House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary-general, for supposedly calling her “opposition” after she formed HNP. She even suggested that House members oust Alvarez as speaker.

“I do not understand why members of the House of Representatives do not tell the President what the fat ass is up to and just coup d’état the Speakership,” she said.

Alvarez has denied calling  Carpio opposition, and said he is open to talking with her to resolve the issue. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com