Duterte ‘overstaying’ as PDP-Laban chair, says Pacquiao-Pimentel wing
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte “overstayed” his time as chairman of PDP-Laban, which led the Pacquiao-Pimentel wing to replace him, a move that is also seen as an effort to “save” the party from the “crisis” it is facing.
This was according to PDP-Laban executive director Ron Munsayac, who is identified with the faction led by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Their faction, which has been at odds with the group led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, replaced Duterte with Pimentel, the son of PDP-Laban founder, late former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.
“Overstaying na po si chairman Duterte sa kanyang position,” Munsayac told reporters in an online interview Monday.
Duterte was appointed as party chairman in 2016. But citing the party’s constitution, Munsayac said a member can only hold a party position for a maximum of two years.
“Ngayon, 2021 na po,” he said.
Munsayac also said Cusi also “overstayed” his time as party vice chairman. Cusi was appointed to the position in the same year as Duterte.
Cusi, however, was elected as party president to replace Pacquiao in a national assembly last July 17. The event was not recognized by the Pacquiao-Pimentel group.
‘Save the party’ from ‘crisis’
“Ngayon po na nagkakaproblema. Mayroong krisis sa partido. Hindi na po namin siguro pababayaan pa ‘yan and ngayon we are approaching ‘yung 2022 elections, kung status quo pa rin kami, baka sa pansitan kami pulutin. So the national council members, upon consultation sa aming party mates sa baba, had to make a decisive move talaga,” Munsayac went on.
“We have to make an executive decision to save the party kasi po kung tuloy-tuloy na ganito, kawawa naman po ang PDP-Laban na pinaghirapan namin for 40 years,” he added.
The Cusi wing had earlier downplayed as “comedy” the move of the Pacquiao-Pimentel group to replace Duterte as chairman of the party.
“Sen. Koko Pimentel has no position in the PDP-Laban. He is irrelevant and he does not represent the party. His group [members] are pretenders and attention seekers,” PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag of the Cusi faction said in a statement over the weekend.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the PDP-Laban party chairman. He remains to be so and will continue to be so,” he added.
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