As members jump ship, PDP-Laban gathers to boost party unity
MANILA, Philippines — Members of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) met Wednesday night in a move to strengthen the ruling political party.
The meeting happened at Senator Manny Pacquiao’s residence in Makati City and was attended by members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
PDP Laban President Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III underscored the party’s role in ensuring that President Rodrigo Duterte has support in pushing for his programs for Filipinos.
Duterte serves as the party’s chairman.
“We want to start expanding our reach in the grassroots not only to solidify our political network but also to give us direct feedback on what still needs to be done to make life better for our kababayans,” Pimentel said.
Also in attendance were PDP Laban Vice-Chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, House Deputy Speaker Dong Gonzales, PDP Laban Spokesperson and House Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and PDP Laban Executive Director Ron Munsayac.
— Ron Munsayac (@RonMunsayac) March 4, 2020
Of jumping ship and House coup talks
The meeting happened as some PDP Laban members, particularly in the House of Representatives, move to other political parties.
The latest of which was the transfer of Biliran Rep. Gerardo “Gerryboy” Espina to the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party.
Before that, four other PDP Laban members–Deputy Speaker and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales; Deputy Speaker and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez; La Union Rep. Sandra Eriguel; and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rolando “Klarex” Uy–also transferred to the National Unity Party (NUP).
Currently, there are 62 PDP Laban members in the House.
Some of the party members in the House were also linked to an alleged plot to oust Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano earlier tagged Velasco as the person behind the supposed plot to unseat him as House Speaker, saying that the Marinduque lawmaker was promising chairmanship and budget allocation to some members of the lower chamber.
Velasco is set to take over as House Speaker in October under a term-sharing agreement with Cayetano.
Amid issues surrounding the alleged ouster scheme, shakeups in two of the lower chamber’s key committees transpired.
Among those removed from their post was Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon, a PDP Laban member who chaired the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel has belied the alleged ouster plot and said that the party is in “full support” of the programs of the current House leadership.
“As far as PDP-Laban is concerned, there is no plan to oust Speaker Cayetano. Wala ho talagang napag-uusapan nun [There is no discussion like that],” Pimentel said in a phone interview.
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