‘Guiding light’: Duterte, Pimentel part of new PDP-Laban ‘council of elders’
MANILA, Philippines — Amid infighting within PDP-Laban, its national council led by party vice-chairman Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi approved the formation of a “council of elders,” which will serve as the “guiding light” of the political group.
In a meeting on Friday, PDP-Laban’s national council adopted a resolution creating the “council of elders.”
“We will come and go, we will wither away but our party will remain stronger than ever before. To institutionalize everything, and to make our party stronger I propose that we create a council of elders, a PDP-Laban council of elders to be composed of party mates who have proven themselves worthy of emulation by devoting their time and energy for the betterment, not only of our party, but also of our country,” Cusi said.
“The council of elders…will be the guiding light, who will be the beacon that will guide the party in its endeavor, in its journey towards development of a party that would really represent and lead the country to progress,” he added.
The council also adopted Cusi’s proposal to nominate President Rodrigo Duterte, who chairs the party, as chairman of the said council.
Initial members of the council include Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, as proposed by Cusi.
Pimentel is the executive vice chairman of the party and is identified with the group of Senator Manny Pacquiao, who has been at odds with Cusi’s group.
While Cusi moved for the “inclusion of the party president,” he did not specifically name Pacquiao in his proposed “council of elders” members.
Pacquiao currently serves as the party’s president. But an election for national officers slated during the national assembly on Saturday, July 17, may result in the senator’s removal as president.
Both Pacquiao and Pimentel did not participate in Friday’s meeting and will also not attend the national assembly on Saturday, which both senators earlier said was an “unauthorized” event.
Two of Duterte’s Cabinet secretaries are also included in the “council of elders,” namely Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget chief Wendel Avisado.
Lawyer Rogelio “Bicbic” Garcia was also approved as a council member as proposed by Cusi.
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