President Duterte said Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was the one to blame for the leadership dispute in PDP-Laban, saying it all started when he appointed Senator Manny Pacquiao as “acting president” when it was against the party’s bylaws.
Duterte made the statement as he led the PDP-Laban national assembly at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on Saturday, July 17.
In his speech, the President did not mince his words when he blamed Pimentel for the rift in PDP-Laban.
“Hindi natin alam kung ano ang gagawin sa kabila, baka nagta-type na si Koko ng petition sa Comelec but tignan natin (We do not know what the other faction will do, maybe Koko is now typing his petition to the Commission on Elections but we will see),” he said.
“Siya ang nag-umpisa ng ruckus (He was the one who started the ruckus). That is not how we run a party. Hindi naman bobo mga miyembro (Your members are not idiots),” he added
The President said that Pacquiao, a former high-ranking member of the party, was not to blame for the leadership rift between the latter and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
“Ang nagkamali diyan si Koko, hindi si Pacquiao (Koko was wrong here, not Pacquiao),” he said.
“Pacquiao does not know anything. ‘Di naman nagbabasa ‘yan. Basta kung ano lang sabihin ng mga ano nya, sunod (He does not read. he just follows what the people around him say),” he added.
Duterte acknowledged that it was the late Senator Nene Pimentel Jr. who founded PDP-Laban but said the latter’s son did not handle it well.
“Walang diskarte na tama (He did nothing right). I do not know what pushed him to place Pacquiao as acting President, you have to elect,” he said.
“‘Yan lang ang [bar] top-notcher na nakita ko… baka inggit lang ako kasi 75 lang ako (He is the only bar top-notcher who… or maybe I’m just envious because I only got a grade of 745),” he added.
According to Duterte, PDP-Laban was just a “father-and-son party” before he joined in 2015. He added that the Pimentels will not even win an election in their hometown of Cagayan de Oro.
“Itong (This) party, PDP-Laban, was asleep for a hundred years. It only woke up during the election when I ran for the presidency under the ticket,” the President said.
“It was a father-and-son party, period. Wala nang iba (Nothing more). They’re not even recognized in Cagayan de Oro City,” he added.
The PDP-Laban national assembly on Saturday made all executive positions in the party vacant, effectively removing Pacquiao as PDP-Laban acting president. Cusi was eventually elected as the party president.