Duterte to ‘unify’ PDP-Laban factions

Camille Elemia
Duterte to ‘unify’ PDP-Laban factions
President Rodrigo Duterte wants to resolve the party infighting involving the factions of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and Duterte's classmate, lawyer Rogelio Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will “try to unify” factions in the PDP-Laban in a caucus of the ruling party.

Special Assistant to the President Bong Go said this in a radio interview on Saturday, July 28, in response to questions about the supposed “unauthorized” national assembly that ousted Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as party leaders.

Go, who was retained as party auditor in the Friday assembly, said he only found out about the party infighting just recently, and that he relayed the development to Duterte, the party chairman.

“Namention ko po ito sa ating Pangulo. Sabi ko may iba-ibang faction pala ito, Mayor. Na-mention ko sa kanya kahapon, hindi ko naman alam na may ganoong faction. So sabi ko, chairman ka sa isang faction, chairman ka rin sa isang faction. Ako, auditor din ng faction, auditor rin sa isang faction. So sabi niya, magpapatawag na lang daw po siya ng caucus at sisikapin niyang mapag-isa ang mga ito,” Go said in an interview with Bombo Radyo.

(I mentioned this to the President that there are different factions [in the party]. I mentioned it to him yesterday. I did not know there were factions. I told him, you’re chairman of both factions. I’m also auditor of both factions. So he said, he will just call a caucus to try to unify the factions.)

Go said lawyer Rogelio Galicia, who was elected “new” PDP-Laban president, is a classmate of Duterte while the other “new” officers are also supporters of Duterte.

Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary general, was replaced by Willy Talag, who ran for Makati City 1st District representative in 2016 under the Nationalist People’s Coalition but lost. Abbin Dalhani is the new executive vice president.

Go said he has talked to the camp of Garcia and Pimentel, and both expressed willingness to listen to the President.

Kinausap ko po si Atty Vic-vic Garcia at si Senator Pimentel, open naman po sila kung ang Pangulo ang magpapa-isa sa kanilang dalawang grupo. And that’s good news po. Kasi unang-una, ito po ‘yung partido na nagdala sa ating Pangulo sa presidency. So sayang naman po kung papabayaan natin ito, sabi nga ni Pangulo, kakausapin ko yung both parties,” Go said.

(I talked to Atty. Vic-Vic Garcia and Senator Pimentel, they are both open to listening to President Duterte. That’s good news because this is the party that brought President Duterte to the presidency. It’s not good that we will just let this happen that’s why the President said he will talk to both parties.)

Garcia’s group had accused Pimentel’s camp of violating the party’s by-laws and constitution, when it held a mass oath-taking of new members without the required proper basic seminar.

Pimentel, in turn, said Garcia’s group is composed of “expelled rogue members.” – Rappler.com

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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