Senator Manny Pacquiao was recently elected to lead the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), the political party of President Duterte.
Pacquiao, arguably one of the most popular Filipino politicians around, took over from fellow Senator Koko Pimentel who was named vice-chairman. President Duterte remains as chairman.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who is quite close to the powerful Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, was appointed as the party’s new executive vice president.
Political pundits view Pacquiao’s assumption as head of PDP-Laban as conveniently being aligned with wide-ranging speculations he is running for the presidency in 2022, although this has to be confirmed.
US boxing promoter Bob Arum, who had formerly charted Pacquiao’s spectacular career, said last April that the Pacman plans to run for president in 2022 or maybe later.
Two House deputy speakers were also named regional vice presidents – Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur for Caraga and Aurelio Gonzales Jr. for Central Luzon.
The PDP-Laban count as as members 5 senators, 59 congressmen, 43 governors, 34 vivce-governors, 257 board members, 608 mayors, 541 vice mayors and over 4,000 councilors, aside from countless grassroots leaders.
Photo: Radyo Agila