Pimentel denies report Speaker is ‘persona non grata’ at PDP-Laban party
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III denied on Friday that House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez has been declared “persona non grata” by the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
A group, led by Rogelio Garcia and Cesar Cuntapay, earlier claimed to have issued a resolution declaring Alvarez, who sits as the party’s secretary general, persona non grata from the party.
“That group does not represent the party. Whatever their complaints, someone who has expanded the base of PDP Laban in the House of Representatives from three to 123 members cannot be said to have done or be doing acts inimical to the party,” Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, said in a statement.
“Speaker Alvarez has in fact strengthened the party with quality members and was crucial in the passage of laws that forward the change we in the party advocate,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel told Cuntapay to respect the party’s processes and submit his complaint to PDP Laban’s arbitration procedure.
The Senate president said he would not allow the party built by his father, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. “to be dragged through the mud because of personal differences between party members.”
“We are working to build a better society and a federal Philippines. Anyone who describes himself as a loyal party member must respect and obey the party’s by-laws,” he said.
Pimentel ordered Cuntapay to “immediately cease” from doing actions “inimical” to PDP-Laban’s image and morale, “or be subject to party discipline.”
While hoping Cuntapay and Alvarez reconcile their differences for the sake of the party, Pimentel said he would not hesitate to expel Cuntapay for “using the party’s name for personal reasons.”
Cuntapay, former interim regional council president of PDP-Laban in Southern Mindanao, has earlier said he was planning to file an ouster case against Alvarez for “arbitrarily” removing party leaders in Mindanao. JPV
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