A stalwart in the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Senator Manny Pacquiao’s decision to run for president under the Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives or PROMDI defies logic.
Melvin Matibag, who was elected secretary general of the PDP-Laban led by Cusi, said Pacquiao’s action also violated the PDP-Laban Constitution.
In the first place, Matibag noted it is questionable why Pacquiao chose to run as a standard bearer of a minority party which is “not even a strong and active” political party.
“So that is impractical I think, because it defies logic. It defies the constitution. So, I don’t know where Sen. (Aquilino) Pimentel’s interpretation is coming from,” the lawyer said in several interviews on Monday.
The PDP-Laban Pimentel faction is supporting the presidential bid of Pacquiao who would be running in tandem with Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza.
While Cusi’s camp earlier endorsed a Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go and President Duterte tandem in the upcoming May 2022 elections, but Go has chosen to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president, while Duterte said he has retired from politics.
According to Matibag, Pimentel shouldn’t use the argument that Pacquiao can run under the PROMDI on the basis of a supposed PDP-Laban resolution marking the so-called “MP3” alliance with the Cebu-based party.
He said even the Commission on Elections (Comelec) does not recognize the “MP3” –PDP-Laban, PROMDI and People’s Champ Movement (PCM) alliance.
As far as he is concerned, Matibag said he can tell that Pacquiao’s group is not confident and are merely playing safe with the party.
But if Pacquiao and Pimentel insists that they are the legitimate representatives of the PDP-Laban party, then they should “take the gamble and fight for it before the Comelec.”
“Let’s ask them if they are registered with the Comelec, because I’m sure they did not. The period to register a coalition expired a long time ago,” he pointed out.
He added that the PDP-Laban resolution Pimentel has cited cannot overrule the constitution of the party.
“While it is true that the Constitution allows the PDP-Laban to enter into an agreement, it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to run under a different party,” he said.
Cusi’s wing earlier issued a statement stating that Pacquiao is automatically expelled as a member of the PDP-Laban after filing his COC under PROMDI.
Matibag also said their group will likewise file a rejoinder before the Comelec asking the poll body to declare Pacquiao’s faction as illegitimate and issue a restraining order against the two senators to bar them from presenting themselves as legitimate PDP-Laban members.
“The fact is, Sen. Pacquiao is a member of PDP-Laban and he has pledged allegiance to PROMDI and he used the CONA (certificate of nomination and acceptance) of PROMDI. Sen. Pacquiao’s acts are grounds for automatic expulsion from PDP LABAN,” he also said.
“Besides, if Sen. Pacquiao is more comfortable with joining PROMDI, that is his prerogative and we wish him luck. Sen. Pacquiao did the right thing for himself. So we understand also why Sen. Pimentel is reacting the way he does, because now Sen. Pacquiao left him because I think he now knows the truth,” he added.