CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Original members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan in Mindanao on Tuesday, March 22, went ballistic over the endorsement of the presidential bid of ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by a faction of the ruling party led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
“Using the name of the party to endorse someone like Bongbong Marcos is an abomination. It’s like spitting on the grave of Nene Pimentel. They are denying, and burying history,” said Dr. Manuel Jaudian, deputy secretary for Mindanao of the PDP-Laban and one of the original members of the party.
Jaudian called the act “pure callousness,” and the “handiwork of puppeteers out to create the illusion that the Marcoses have nothing to do with the founding of the PDP.”
“It was because of them and the abuses committed during the dictatorship that the PDP was founded. It was organized to fight them until democracy was restored,” Jaudian told Rappler.
Marlo Tabac, a former aide of the late PDP founding leader and senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., said the Cusi wing “disrespected the memory of Nene” by using the name of the party to endorse the son of the late dictator.
“What these people did was a big insult to us, and the memory of Nene who suffered during martial law, and who founded the PDP to fight the Marcos dictatorship,” said Tabac, now the chairman of the PDP-Laban in Northern Mindanao. “Nene must be turning in his grave.”
The late senator, who served as Cagayan de Oro mayor and assemblyman, was arrested at least four times during the Marcos dictatorship. In 2006, he released the book Martial Law in the Philippines: My Story, detailing how he and many others suffered when the Marcoses were in power.
Tabac, however, said the Cusi wing’s endorsement of Marcos only showed the Cusi group’s “illegitimate claim” on the PDP-Laban leadership.
“If they know the history and the principles upon which the party was founded, they won’t even think about doing what they just did. That’s our strongest evidence that they are fake PDPs,” he said.
The PDP-Laban Cusi wing and the group of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III have been at odds with each other over the leadership of the party, a matter that has reached the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in 2021. The Comelec has yet to rule on the petitions. – Rappler.com