Pichay hits PDP-Laban for 'disrespecting' coalition with Lakas-CMD

MANILA, Philippines – Deputy Speaker and Surigao dul Sur 1st District Representative Prospero Pichay Jr slammed the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for failing to uphold its coalition agreement with the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party. 

Pichay, Lakas-CMD secretary-general, was asked by reporters on Monday, November 19, about the status of his party's alliance with PDP-Laban.

He said PDP-Laban fielded its own candidates in certain districts where Lakas-CMD bets are also running for the 2019 polls.

"Dapat kung may coalition, ire-respeto ng ka-coalition mo na 'wag maglagay ng kandidato sa district. But [PDP-Laban], naglagay sila ng lahat ng kandidato sa lahat ng districts. So they did not respect the coalition," said Pichay.

(If there is a coalition, the group you coalesced with should not be putting candidates in the district. But PDP-Laban placed its own candidates in all districts. So they did not respect the coalition.)

"So that means, the coalition is not in effect. Puwedeng maglaban-laban 'yung [PDP-Laban] tsaka 'yung Lakas (PDP-Laban and Lakas candidates can fight each other in the polls)," he added.

Lakas-CMD had coalesced with PDP-Laban days after the victory of then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections. 

While Duterte ran under the PDP-Laban banner in 2016 and is currently party chairman, the President has "minimal" involvement in the affairs of the ruling party. (READ: PDP-Laban struggles for unity, survival ahead of 2019 polls)

Duterte's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio has since formed her own regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), which is endorsing two senatorial slates for the 2019 elections. (READ: Duterte vows to help Sara's party, sticks with PDP-Laban)

HNP has forged coalition agreements with major political parties, including Lakas-CMD, Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People's Coalition, and National Unity Party. Carpio's regional party has also forged alliances with 6 local parties for the 2019 polls. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.