Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday, July 16, called on his partymates in the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to end “hostilities” within the political group.
Cusi, the party’s vice chairman, addressed the dispute wiithin the PDP-Laban during the party’s national council meeting in Clark, Pampanga.
For him, “there are no factions in PDP-Laban”, even as party president and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao already warned to impose sanctions against members who would attend their meeting and assembly on July 17.
“The venue to resolve party issues is here, where leaders of our politcal party are duly assembled,” Cusi maintained.
“Let us mature as a party and advance its principles. I call for a stop to all party hostilities. I ask all members: Do not divide this party. Do not burn bridges,” he added.
The Cabinet official said the national council meeting sought to “advance the PDP-Laban” and prepare the party for the 2022 elections. He denied, however, that they eye to field a specific presidential candidate.
“There is no secret agenda, there is no secret candidate,” he said.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III earlier insinuated that Cusi’s group was planning to support the possible presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who is not a PDP-Laban member. He also tagged Cusi as the brains behind the supposed “power grab” within the party.
Cusi also reiterated that he recognizes that Pimentel’s father, late Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., founded the party.
“The late Ka Nene Pimentel founded this party, and we honor his memory. However, we should all be reminded that no one is above our constiution no matter how long you’ve been in this party. Everyone must follow the rule,” he said.
“I call for party unity and respect for our party constitution. Let us work together in furtherance of our party’s collective interests. Let us not allow personal ambition to dictate [upon] our party members,” Cusi told his partymates.
During the event, members of the PDP-Laban agreed to nullify the resolution that expelled Cusi and two other party officials. They described the resolution as “illegal”.
On Saturday, July 17, the PDP-Laban will hold a national assembly to be attended by no less than the party’s chairman, President Duterte.