The Pacquiao wing of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban party on Friday August 13 lashed out at politicians who are trying to distract boxing icon Senator Emmanuel ‘’Manny’’ Pacquiao from concentrating on his training for world championship boxing bout in Las Vegas on August 21.
‘’This is the first time that a group of Filipinos, because of politics, has organized an effort meant to distract our Pambansang Kamao while he fights in the boxing ring to bring additional honor to our country. How unpatriotic of this group of politicians!,’’ Senator Aquilino Pimentel III of the Pacquiao PDP-Laban wing said.
According to PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag of the Cusi wing, Pacquiao could be expelled because he wanted to turn his regional People’s Champ party (PCP) into a national political party.
In a screenshot sent to media by Matibag, the PCP during his meeting on December 20, 2020 in General Santos city wanted to change the PCP constitution and bylaws because it would be converted into a national party.
The Cusi faction of PDP-Laban party had unseated Pacquiao as party president and replaced him with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
Both Pimentel and Pacquiao claim that they represent the legitimate party.
Pimentel is the party executive vice chairman but a Cusi wing, during a July 17 national assembly, stopped recognizing him as such. His father, the late Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., founded PDP in 1982 to fight the Marcos regime.
The party has since then been split with the Cusi faction scheduled to hold a convention on September 8 and probably vote to support a Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go-President Duterte presidential and vice presidential tandem for the coming May 2022 national elections.
Pimentel countered by saying that “the PDP Laban constitution has consistently been interpreted by knowledgeable leaders of the party over the decades not to prohibit membership in the party and membership in a regional political party at the same time.’’
In a statement, Pimentel said:
‘’The snapshots of documents being circulated actually show that within days of becoming PDP Laban President, Senator Manny Pacquiao gave up the presidency of the People’s Champ Movement, a regional political party. This was an act which was not even required of him to do.
‘’Hence, this issue is all a BLUFF meant to distract Senator Manny Pacquiao from his world championship boxing bout.
‘’This is the first time that a group of Filipinos, because of politics, has organized an effort meant to distract our Pambansang Kamao while he fights in the boxing ring to bring additional honor to our country. How unpatriotic of this group of politicians!”
A statement from the PDP-Laban headquarters of the Pacquiao wing also stated: ‘’The desperation of the claims against Senator Manny Pacquiao show the malicious nature of the cause of the usurpers and expelled members of PDP Laban who have no rights or authority whatsoever to represent or lead the Party.
‘’Also, the expelled members are leading a group illegally acting as the leaders of the Party without any basis or authority. All their acts are therefore null and void for being in utter violation of the Party Constitution.
‘The snapshots of documents being circulated actually show that within days of becoming PDP LABAN President, Senator Manny Pacquiao gave up the presidency of the People’s Champ Movement, a regional political party.
‘’His continuous allegiance to the PDP Laban is unquestionable having been the campaign manager and presently the National President of the Party. No one questioned his authority and resolve in always supporting the candidates who are members of PDP Laban adhering to its Principles and Objectives. His has no allegiance to any candidate who is a member of another national party. Unlike the expelled group who have outwardly endorsed the candidacy of a person who is member of another National Party even if there are able and willing candidates within PDP Laban. They wanted to propagate the ideals of another national political party.
‘’Senator Manny is just like the President Rodrigo Duterte who is likewise a member of a local party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) up to the present.
‘’Up to today, the PCM is a local and regional political party. The expelled group is only peddling lies to further their malicious and baseless claims. Hence, this issue is all a wild BLUFF meant to distract Senator Manny Pacquiao from his world championship boxing bout.’’