PDP-Laban expels Pacquiao


A group in the PDP-Laban party has given presidentiable Sen. Manny Pacquiao the boot, for filing his certificate of candidacy under local party PROMDI, a move prohibited in their rules.

“The PDP-Laban National Executive Committee met Oct. 1 and a resolution was approved automatically expelling Sen. Pacquiao from PDP-Laban in accordance with the party’s constitution,” said the group’s secretary-general Melvin Matibag.

“Senator Pacquiao claims that he is the legitimate president of PDP-Laban and even called his own National Assembly where he accepted their so-called proclamation as presidential candidate and yet he is running for president under PROMDI. Let’s call a spade a spade. If that is not disloyalty, betrayal, and abandonment of PDP-Laban, I don’t know what is,” he added.

Pacquiao formalized his intention to run amid a legal battle between the ruling party’s two factions—that of Pacquiao and Sen. Koko Pimentel and that of energy sec Alfonso Cusi. Each faction had submitted to the Commission on Elections separate, sworn information update statements.

Should the elections body rule in favor of one, the other wouldn’t be able to send out candidates under the party’s name.

Matibag added that the boxer-turned-senator’s filing under Promdi proves that the other wing’s appeal had less weight than that of Cusi’s. He also suggested that the move may give away that Pacquiao does not actually have “the support of grassroots members” like he says.

“This is where people can see Sen. Pacquiao and Sen. Pimentel do not abide by the Constitution of PDP-Laban and they are sidelining the voice of the many, true members of PDP-Laban,” he went on. “Why would he leave PDP-Laban if it’s true that he has thousands of supporters within the party?”

This might also confuse PDP-Laban supporters. He said: “Jumping ship to different parties has always been Sen. Pacquiao’s move, whenever he sees he can’t have his way with the party.”

Earlier, the two sides clashed over the latter’s push to field President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, a non-PDP-Laban member.

Pimentel, on the other hand, seemed unperturbed by Pacquiao’s expulsion from the party. He said that Matibag and the Cusi wing “do not know the facts.”

He brought up what he called the “MP3 Alliance”: PDP-Laban, PROMDI and the People’s Champ Movement—all three of whom have declared Pacquiao as their presidential bet.

The party’s national executive committee enabled Pacquaio to use the PROMDI certificate of nomination and acceptance to unite his support base and alliance partners. He was also officially nominated and proclaimed as their prexy candidate in their national assembly.

Pimentel also swiped back at them, saying that Cusi and Matibag had “a lot of explaining to do to their own audience”, given their September nomination of Sen. Bong Go and Duterte as president-vice president candidates, respectively, which the former formally turned down.

Just recently, Duterte has announced that he is retiring from politics, and Go has filed COC for vice president instead.

Sen. Richard Gordon, with whom Duterte has been locking horns with over the government’s use of Covid19 funds, expressed doubts that this would actually happen. He cited a similar promise the president made in late 2015: “He said he will retire. Did he? Did he run (eventually)? He says things just like that.”

Photo: Daily Tribune

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