Palace: PDP-Laban council meeting ordered by Duterte

Published May 30, 2021, 4:04 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang disclosed that it was President Duterte who ordered Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to organize and preside a national council assembly for members of the ruling party PDP-Laban.

President Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after PDP-Laban acting president Senator Manny Pacquiao issued a memorandum directing members of the party to “ignore” Cusi’s call for a national assembly.

Cusi is Vice Chairman of PDP-Laban.

In a statement, Roque said it was President Duterte who gave the direction to Cusi to discuss the issues affecting the party.

“Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as Vice Chairman of the ruling party PDP-Laban was directed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who serves as Chairman, to organize, convene and preside over the council meeting,” Roque said on Sunday.

“This move, which is part of the democratic exercise, aims to consult party members and have fruitful and productive exchanges on issues affecting PDP-Laban,” he added.

It was reported that Cusi first wrote to Pacquiao on May 19 to inform him that a national council meeting was called on May 31. Part of the agenda was “administrative matters in preparation for the 2022 national elections,” where Pacquiao is rumored eyeing the presidency.

In a statement on Saturday, Cusi said the meeting aimed to consult with members on how to support Duterte’s agenda as he enters his last year in office.

Cusi, in a separate statement on Friday, also said that the meeting was important so they could examine what the party has accomplished and what still “needs to be done.”

In March, Pacquiao warned Cusi not to “divide” the ruling party’s members amid talk of the group’s lineup for the 2022 presidential elections.

Cusi was allegedly among PDP-Laban members who have been urging President Duterte to run for vice president next year.