HIGHLIGHTS: PDP-Laban national assembly – July 2021

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What you need to know

The Philippines’ ruling party PDP-Laban held its national assembly on Saturday, July 17, as it was embroiled in a power struggle ahead of the 2022 presidential race that will elect President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor.

PDP-Laban on Saturday elected new officials – and ousted Senator Manny Pacquiao as party president.

Party chair Duterte himself presided over the national assembly in Clark, Pampanga, starting around 3 pm on Saturday.

The national assembly comes a day after the party’s national council meeting on Friday, July 16, where party members in the House of Representatives showed support for party vice chair Alfonso Cusi, whom Pacquiao had “expelled.”

The camp of Pacquiao and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, PDP-Laban executive vice chairman and son of founder Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr, have refused to recognize these supposedly rogue activities. 

Bookmark and refresh this page for live updates in text, photos, and video. – Rappler.com

Latest updates

PDP-Laban factions brace for legal battle

Lines were clearly drawn at the PDP-Laban national assembly on Saturday, July 17. There can now be no doubt that President Rodrigo Duterte recognizes the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and is challenging Senators Koko Pimentel and Manny Pacquiao, and the party “originals” they represent.

In the same meeting, the Cusi group elected new officers, replacing Pimentel and Pacquiao, who took their oath in the presence of Duterte.

It seems inevitable that the groups will now have to legally settle who the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will recognize as PDP-Laban in the run-up to the filing of candidacies in October.

“We do not know what the other side will do. Maybe Koko is already typing a petition for Comelec,” said Duterte on Saturday.

He is fully expecting Pimentel to “fight nail and tooth” for the right to be called the real PDP-Laban.

Next month, on August 15, political parties must have submitted their Sworn Information Update Statement, which, among other things, lists down the party’s officers.

But now, there are two sets of officers. Which will the Comelec recognize? The officers with the backing of Pimentel, a founding member of the party, or the officers sworn in by Duterte himself?

Pia Ranada

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Pimentel held a simultaneous Zoom meeting with some 100 chapter leaders nationwide, as well as other "bona fide and original grassroots members of the party."

The founding member and son of the founder, the late Senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr, reminded members to stay united behind the leadership of Pacquiao.

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