Duterte still considers Pacquiao an ally, Palace says

Published June 1, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte still considers Senator Manny Pacquiao a political ally and is open to holding a meeting with him.

President Rodrigo Duterte reads a document ahead of his public address on May 31, 2021. (Malacañang)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque issued the statement after Pacquiao reportedly sought a dialogue with the President following the issues hounding the party.

Duterte serves as chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban party while Pacquiao is party president.

“Wala pa pong schedule, pero wala rin naman akong nakikitang hadlang sa pagpupulong na iyan (There is no schedule yet but I don’t seen any stumbling block to that meeting),” he said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, June 1.

Asked if Pacquiao remained an ally of the President, Roque said: “I believe so.”

He noted that there was no changes in the party leadership during the meeting of the group Monday in Cebu.

“Wala naman pong nangyaring pagbabago bagamat natuloy po iyong PDP-Laban, he remains to be party president as of now,” he said.

President Duterte earlier appealed to party mates to remain united and focus on improving the welfare of the people. In charting the party’s future, he also asked the party to stick to its values and principles rather than dwell on personal interests.

READ: Duterte urges PDP-Laban: Stay united, promote good governance

The PDP-Laban party meeting, organized by vice chair Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, pushed through Monday in Cebu despite a boycott call issued by Pacquiao who claimed the assembly broke party rules.

The Palace later released a statement confirming the President directed Cusi to convene and preside over the meeting.