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Duterte vows to strengthen PDP-Laban for 2019 polls

/ 12:00 AM August 10, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte meets members of PDP-Laban on August 9, 2018 amid reports of infighting among officials of the ruling party. Malacañang PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to strengthen the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the 2019 polls as he met with the two competing factions of the ruling party Thursday night, according to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.

The President also asked his party mates to hash out their differences by talking to each other, instead of “publicly rebelling,” Pimentel said.

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Another meeting has been set next month to allow the two groups to iron out the differences, he added.

Nevertheless, Pimentel said the meeting with President Duterte on Thursday was good.

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“It was good because the President mentioned to us his commitment to help the party by campaigning for good candidates,” he told reporters.

He added that President Duterte is looking for competent and honest candidates.

READ: Duterte wants to unify PDP-Laban amid ‘infighting’ — Palace

Pimentel said the President asked his party mates to focus on PDP-Laban’s campaign promises, such as pushing for federalism and eliminating crime and corruption.

“That means we have to unite. The small issues, if there are questions about party processes, party leadership, publicly rebelling is not the way to do it. He said ‘if there’s a problem, let us talk,’” the senator said.

President Duterte first met with the two groups separately at the Manila Diamond Hotel before addressing them together.

The faction led by Rogelio Garcia held an assembly two weeks ago and elected a new set of officials supposedly to replace Pimentel as party president and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as secretary general.

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The move had prompted Pimentel’s group to hold a mass oath takings of new members without requiring them to undergo the basic membership seminar.

Pimentel explained that the party did not authorize the gathering and that he was mulling charges against those involved in besmirching PDP-Laban’s name. /ee

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TAGS: Partido Demokratiko Pilipino- Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), President Rodrigo Duterte
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