Is the PDP-Laban leadership on a collision course?
Boxing icon turned Senator Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, PDP-Laban acting President, had strongly advised party mates to boycott the May 31 party National Assembly in Cebu because it is illegal.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, former PDP-Laban president and the current Executive Vice Chairman, supported the Pacquiao position on the issue.
Now, PDP-Laban has again scheduled a party meeting on July 17, 10 days before President Duterte, PDP-Laban Chairman, delivers his State of the Nation (SONA) on July 6.
This early, Ronwald Munsayac, PDP-Laban executive director, said Pacquiao would not attend the meeting led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, PDP-Laban vice chairman, and his group.
Pimentel also stated that he would not attend the July 17 party meeting.
Munsayac said ‘’the PDP Laban national leadership, grassroots membership, and old guards of the Party see this as an unauthorized assembly.”
‘’Any resolution or decision that will be borne out of this unauthorized activity will be ignored,’’ he added.
Munsayac pointed out that ‘’out of our more than 100,000 card-bearing members, only a little more than 5,000 are politicians (from President to councilors).’’
‘’Basing it on our regular consultations and meeting with party mates, I can safely say that Senator Pacquiao has the overwhelming support from the PDP Laban Grassroots and old time members,’’ he said.
‘’Just to be clear, those who attended the activity held by Secretary Cusi last May 31 were a mere 100 members out of the 100,000 in our roster. Mostly politicians and appointed officials in the executive department. But to be fair to the politicians, they attended because they believed it had the blessings of Malacañang Palace,’’ he added.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque earlier said that the President directed Cusi to hold the Cebu May 31 meeting.
But Pacquiao said the meeting should have been called jointly by the party Chairman and President based on party Constitution and by-laws.
Pimentel stressed that party leaders should be ruled by the party Constitution and bylaws.
He also told party mates to support and give the exposure that Senator Pacquiao needs since he is the sure candidate of the party who will be running for national position be it for senator, Vice President or President.
At present, Pacquiao still refuses to categorically state whether he intends to run for the presidency.
He had said the presidency requires God’s blessings.
There is, however, is a supposed continued support for presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for the presidency. She is s founder of regional party.
If PDP-Laban adopts Sara as its presidential standard bearer, what happens to Pacquiao?