‘Political interest’ behind Pacquiao’s public criticism of Duterte, says PDP-Laban exec
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao’s public criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte may be due to “personal or political interest,” a ranking officer of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) said Friday.
Atty. Melvin Matibag, who serves as the acting Secretary-General of PDP-Laban, made the remark as the word war between Pacquiao and Duterte, two high-ranking members of the party, continues.
“Mukhang ang majority ng tao ang makakapaghusga na ‘yung pag-criticize mo sa kasama mo, kung ang intention mo talaga ay itama at may baguhin, di mo naman kailangang gawing publiko ito,” Matibag said in an interview.
(It’s the majority of the people who will decide on your criticism of your colleague, and if your real intention is to have it corrected, you don’t have to do it in public.)
“Pero kung may iba kang interes to promote your personal and political interest ay baka yun ang dahilan kung bakit ka pumupunta sa publiko,” he added.
(But if you have other interests like promoting your personal and political interests, then maybe that’s the reason why you go to the public.)
Asked in a text message if his statement means he’s of the belief that Pacquiao’s public criticism of Duterte is due to political interest, Matibag said: “Yes.”
According to Matibag, the rift within the party only started when Pacquiao, who is the acting president of PDP-Laban, said in March that some of its party members’ move to urge Duterte to run for vice president is “not authorized”.
Duterte is the chairperson of the party.
Pacquiao has also questioned the national government’s actions on the West Philippine Sea issue, prompting Duterte to advise the senator to “study first.”
Just recently, Duterte told Pacquiao to name corrupt agencies or else he would campaign against him in the 2022 national elections.
In response, Pacquiao identified the Department of Health, telling investigators to begin inspecting the rapid test kits, personal protective equipment, masks, and other items bought by that department.
Will Pacquiao be replaced?
The recent rift within PDP-Laban has led many to ask if Pacquiao will be replaced, especially as the party is set to hold a national assembly on July 16 and 17.
Matibag said an election will be held during the event.
“’Yung by-laws nga namin, ang sinasabi kasi yung mga namumuno, yung mga opisyal ng PDP-Laban have two years to serve. ‘Yun ang term of office nila. For the longest time, walang nangyayaring election kaya ngayon lahat kami nasa holdover capacity,” Matibag said in the interview.
(According to our by-laws, PDP-Laban leaders have two years to serve. We did not have any election for the longest time, and all of us are in a holdover capacity.)
“Mas maganda siguro na talagang magkaroon ng halalan upang magkaroon ng sariwang mandato ang mga sinumang mamumuno sa partido at para matugunan na rin yung mga pagtatalo-talo kung ano yung mga naging problema sa pag-assume ng mga opisyales ng PDP-Laban,” he added.
(Maybe it’s better if we have an election so that the leaders can have a fresh mandate and the arguments on the issues with the assumption of office of PDP-Laban offices will be addressed.)
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