Pimentel group is legitimate PDP-Laban – Comelec

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has recognized the camp of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III as the legitimate leadership of ruling party PDP-Laban on Wednesday, November 28.

In a 5-page resolution given to media Friday, November 30, the Comelec said it took “judicial note” of the fact that it was Pimentel who authorized a “List of Authorized Signatories” for the party during the 2016 elections.

It added candidates of PDP-Laban for the previous elections were also recognized through certificates of nomination and acceptance signed by those Pimentel had authorized.

“The Commission still maintains its recognition of the officers of Pimentel Group and PDP-Laban’s legitimate officers authorized to act for and in behalf of PDP-Laban,” it said.

The Comelec’s decision comes over a month after it vowed last October 18, to quickly resolve the row between factions of President Rodrigo Duterte's party.

Because of this, the Comelec said that the sworn information update statement and list of authorized signatures submitted by Pimentel’s group would also be recognized as legitimate and official for the 2019 elections.

Among those affected by infighting in the ruling party is senatorial hopeful Freddie Aguilar, who has been disowned by PDP-Laban because the folk singer's certificate of nomination was signed by Wilfredo Talag, who claimed to be the secretary general of PDP-Laban. (READ: PDP-Laban struggles for unity, survival ahead of 2019 polls

The list of official PDP-Laban officers were as follows:

The Comelec said it also took into account that the group’s statement of contribution and expenditure submitted by its aspirants were signed by PDP-Laban treasurer Jesus Aranas, as listed above.

The poll body also considered that the PDP-Laban’s petition to register an additional party short name, logo, and “other matters” currently docketed in the Comelec was filed by the Pimentel group.

Chair of PDP public information and communications Munsayac hailed the Comelec’s decision, saying “it has been determined that there is only one true PDP Laban,” which is headed by Pimentel as its president.

“Hence, only those with legitimate and authorized certificates of nomination and acceptance (CONA) in the 2019 elections from PDP Laban are the official party candidates. These Rogue elements should stop using the name of the Party and misrepresenting themselves as officers or members of the PDP Laban,” Munsayac said. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.