Backtracking? PDP-Laban denies Mamba took oath as Cagayan chair

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Cagayan Valley chapter denied that Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba took his oath as the new chairman in the province.

PDP-Laban regional secretary general Fernando Cumigad told Rappler Mamba only took oath as member of the party during the gathering of new members in Tuao town on Friday, November 17.

This was opposite to the previous pronouncement of Mamba's spokesperson that he has taken over as the provincial head of the party.

An advisory to media on Thursday, November 16, stated that Mamba will take oath as the chairman.

"Malugod po kayong iniimbita ni Gov. Manuel Mamba para sa panunumpa nito bilang provincial chairman ng PDP-Laban party sa Cagayan bukas, araw ng Byernes, Nobyembre 17, 2017/ 9am sa M&M Resort, Cassily Lake Resort, Naruangan, Tuao, Cagayan," the advisory said.

(Gov. Manuel Mamba invites you to his oathtaking as provincial chairman of the PDP-Laban party for Cagayan on Friday, November 17, 2017 / 9am at the M&M Resort, Cassily Lake Resort, Naruangan, Tuao, Cagayan.)

Mamba's spokesperson, Rogie Sending, also told Rappler on Friday that the governor took his oath as chairman and even gave his "acceptance speech" for the position. 

'There's process'

Rappler also quoted Cumigad in its story on Thursday, November 16, that Mamba will take oath as chairman.

However, on Tuesday, November 21, Cumigad clarified that he misinterpreted Rappler's question.

"I thought it was to take oath to the party as member because it was only a Basic Membership Seminar," he said.

He also said that Mamba will eventually sit as the provincial chairman because he is the highest elected official in the province. 

"We just need to go through the process," he said, adding that there is a process in selecting the party's provincial officers and it's the members who will decide who to assign.

There were instances, however, that reporters addressed Mamba as the new provincial chair and got no objection from party officials.

Rappler also asked Cumigad with question, "With the entry of Governor Mamba as chair of PDP-Laban in Cagayan, how do you think this will affect the current political landscape here in Cagayan," which he responded to.

"Actually, we have to consider that Governor Mamba is an incumbent, so it will really strengthen the party. [And] he is well-welcomed [to the party] because he is a tailor fit for the party, considering that his [advocacies are]: against corruption, against illegal gambling; against drugs; against sa criminality," he said. 

In a message on Tuesday, Sending said the governor will undergo the process of becoming an officer.

"He will undergo the process before becoming an officer of the party in the province. as of now there are interim officers of PDP Laban in Cagayan and later all new members will undergo na process of selecting or electing its officers," he said. –