The ruling party PDP-Laban said on Saturday, October 2, that Senator Manny Pacquiao’s presidential candidacy under another banner was proof that their erstwhile ally had “abandoned” the party.
“Senator Pacquiao claims that he is the legitimate President of PDP-Laban and even called his own National Assembly where he accepted their nomination as standard-bearer and yet he is running for president under PROMDI. Let’s call a spade a spade. If that is not abandonment of PDP Laban, I don’t know what is,” said party secretary- general Melvin Matibag in a statement.
Matibag earlier sent to media a portion of PDP-Laban’s constitution signed by Senator Koko Pimentel and former vice president Jejomar Binay, who were then party secretary-general and president, respectively.
The excerpt from the constitution counted “filing a certificate of candidacy for any office or position under auspices of anther political party” as grounds for “automatic expulsion” from PDP-Laban.
Matibag’s statement is the latest in the ongoing fight over which PDP-Laban faction will be recognized by the Commission of Elections (Comelec) as the legitimate representative of the decades-old party.
The PDP-Laban faction led by energy chief Alfonso Cusi earlier asked Comelec to declare the Pacquiao and Pimentel-led faction of the party “illegitimate.”
Alliance of parties?
Pacquiao was the first presidential bet to make his bid for the presidency official on Friday, October 1. He is running for president under PROMDI, a national party founded by the late former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña. Pacquiao was ousted as PDP-Laban president in July 2021.
In a text message to Rappler, Pimentel said the “conclusion that [Matibag] wanted… is mistaken.”
“Atty. Matibag is not aware of the terms of the MP3 Alliance (alliance and cooperation agreement between PDP Laban, PROMDI, and PCM) as well as of the National Executive Committee Resolution No. 12,” said Pimentel, son of PDP-Laban cofounder, the late Nene Pimentel.
PDP-Laban’s reaction to Pacquiao’s filing of his candidacy under PROMDI came hours before Senator Bong Go, longtime aide of President Duterte, filed his candidacy as PDP-Laban’s vice presidential bet.
The party had nominated Go and President Duterte as its 2022 tandem. Go declined the presidential nomination, while Duterte accepted his.
With Go running for vice president, PDP-Laban is now without a standard-bearer.
Both Pacquiao and Pimentel were allies of Duterte until recently. The Pacquiao and Pimentel-led PDP-Laban faction would later say they were “conned” by Duterte, who they said no longer represent “the values and principles of PDP-Laban.”
Duterte had re-joined PDP-Laban in 2015, months before he made official his 2016 bid for the presidency. – Rappler.com