PDP-Laban exec rules out Pacquiao ouster, says senator to stay with party
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao intends to stay with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), a party official said as he ruled out that the possibility of the boxer-politician being ousted as party president.
PDP-Laban executive director Ron Munsayac said members of the party are still “confident” in Pacquiao’s leadership.
“Hindi namin tingin na papatalsikin si Sen. Manny kasi confident po talaga kami sa leadership ni Sen. Pacquiao. We’ve been consulting all of our party mates, confident sila sa liderato ni Sen. Pacquiao,” Munsayac said in an online interview with reporters Tuesday.
(We don’t think that Sen. Manny will be removed because we are confident in the leadership of Sen. Pacquiao. We’ve been consulting all of our party mates; they are also confident in the leadership of Sen. Pacquiao.)
“Wala kaming nakikita na tiyansa na mapapatalsik siya kasi kampante kami sa leadership ni Manny Pacquiao at ito po ay nanggagaling po sa aming mga grass root members,” he added.
(We don’t see any the possibility of his being removed from his post because we are confident of his leadership, and that view also comes from our grassroots members.)
Meeting ‘not an insult’
Amid the seeming rift among its members, PDP-Laban will decide on its party leadership in July, raising questions on whether Pacquiao will be replaced as the PDP-Laban president amid supposed differences in policy direction among key party members.
On Monday, over 100 members attended PDP-Laban’s national council meeting in Cebu City even after Pacquiao discouraged party mates from participating, saying the event was “not sanctioned.”
Malacañang, however, said it was party chairman President Rodrigo Duterte himself who directed vice chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to convene the national assembly.
Munsayac also said that Pacquiao would stay in PDP-Laban, saying the meeting held in Cebu City was “not an insult” to the senator, who he said is not harboring any hard feelings despite the seeming conflict within the party.
“They are a minority, the 107 [attendees] compared to the 100,000 members of the party…Sen. Pacquiao is still firmly our party president and I firmly believe, as the executive director of the party, na yung meeting kahapon [that the meeting yesterday] is not an insult to Sen. Pacquiao,” he said.
“In fact, I’ve spoken with a lot of the attendees yesterday and they said that anytime, ‘pag nagpatawag si Sen. Pacquiao [if Sen. Pacquiao calls for a meeting], they will gladly attend,” he added.
Munsayac also said that Pacquiao is not considering building his own party.
“Base sa pag-uusap namin ni Sen. Pacquiao, wala po ‘yan. In fact, napakalayo sa kanyang isipan na umalis sa PDP-Laban kasi napamahal na rin po siya sa PDP-Laban at mahal din po siya ng aming mga miyembro,” Munsayac added.
(Based on my conversation with Sen. Pacquiao, that is not an option. In fact, he is not thinking about leaving PDP-Laban because he’s grown to love PDP-Laban and our members feel the same way about him.)
Pacquiao has already sought a meeting with Duterte to “iron out” the “simple misunderstanding” within the ruling political party.
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