Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Ronald dela Rosa will not attend the national assembly of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Cebu although it has been approved by President Duterte as party national chairman.
Pimentel, a former Senate President, said he is busy with his legislative work and politics is not his priority.
“We are still rushing priority bills of the Administration and yet we are being distracted at the same time by PDP-Laban internal party issues which could and should wait,’’ he said.
‘’We should know what to prioritize during this (COVID-19) PANDEMIC,’’ he said.
The Senate adjourns sine die on June 4.
Pimentel was a former PDP-Laban president before Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao took over the party presidency.
Dela Rosa said he also could not attend the meeting this afternoon because he would be attending the Senate plenary session.
Dela Rosa expressed confidence that there would be unity in the party and would have a common slate in the forthcoming 2022 national elections.
According to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, vice chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban, was directed by President Duterte who serves a party chairman, to organize, convene and preside over the meeting.
Pacquiao, now at loggerheads with Cusi, said that under the party Constitution and bylaws for a reason. It’s very clear that ‘’only the Chairman (President Duterte) in coordination with the Party President (Manny Pacquiao) could call on the Party’s National Council and/or Assembly.’’
‘’Also, if this purported council meeting is sanctioned by our Chairman, how come we have not received any formal communication from the Chairman/President Duterte, only an announcement from his Spokesperson who isn’t even a partymate,’’ he added.