For “overstaying,” the faction led by Sen. Manny Pacquiao in PDP Laban  ousted on August 29President Rodrigo Duterte as the party’s national chairman amid the infighting and grumblings within the ruling party.

Ron Munsayac, executive director of the Pacquaio wing, said Duterte was succeeded by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. He also said  former Eastern Samar Gov. Lutgardo Barbo was elected vice-chairman in place of Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, also an “overstaying party official.”

Prior to Cusi being replaced, he was expelled by the Pacquiao faction for alleged violation of party rules in rallying behind candidates for the 2022 elections who are  not party members.

Due to the rift,  the Cusi group elected their own officers, with himself as president of the Cusi-led group in PDP Laban.

Based on the party rules, Munsayac said party officials have to stay only for a maximum of two years. 

“First, Chairman Duterte and Vice-chairman Cusi are overstaying in their positions because they were appointed by the PDP Laban leadership in 2016,” he said. 

Munsayac related that during their national council meeting August 29, they decided that it wastime to have new leaders for PDP-Laban. 

“We all know that there’s a crisis within the party right now,” admitted Munsayac. He was referring to the faction led by Cusi and Duterte. And the other led by Pacquiao and Pimentel. 

Cusi  is pushing for the Duterte-Duterte and Go-Duterte tandem in Eleksyon 2022.

Òn the other hand, the Pacquiao group is backing the presidential bid of the world boxing champ. 

Duterte  is seeking  the vice-presidential post in next year’s election under the banner of PDP-Laban.

But lawyer Melvin Matibag, secretary-general of the Cusi-led faction stressed “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the PDP Laban party Chairman. He remains to be so and will continue to be so.”

Matibag branded as “comedy” this latest development in PDP-Laban. Matibag, along with Cusi,was expelled by Pacquiao. 

He stressed that 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.” 

In his message after being elected president, Pimentel said although it is time to already hand the leadership to the next younger generation of leaders,  he also cited the need for an old hand, knowledgeable about party matters since the party is in crisis. 

“We call this democratic socialism. This is the reason why we don’t discriminate against anybody. We are obsessed with democracy, democratic rights, and democratic processes because we believe in consultative and participatory democracy.”

Their  ultimate goal, he said, is to make the PDP Laban not just a political party which wins elections but a people’s movement that attends at all times to the resolution of issues and concerns affecting the people.

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