Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Tuesday, Oct. 5 said Senator Manny Pacquiao’s filing of his certificate of candidacy (COC) under the Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives (PROMDI) will strengthen his support base as he pursues the presidency in the upcoming May 2022 national elections.
This is because among the presidential candidates who have already filed at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Pacquiao embodies those who come from the provinces, Pimentel stressed.
“Who is the real ‘promdi’? Actually ang meaning ng ‘promdi’ is from the province. So who will best represent all the Filipinos living in cities, especially in Luzon, who are from the province?” Pimentel said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“Walang iba kundi (there is none but) the real ‘promdi’ candidate, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. So it really consolidates his base support,” he added.
Contrary to the claims of the camp of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Pimentel said PROMDI is actually a very known party because they also fielded presidential and vice presidential
candidates in the past elections.
“So the core support of the PROMDI is in the Visayas, Regions 6, 7 and 8. By filing under PROMDI, you consolidate the support base because Manny Pacquiao is already known to be PDP-Laban and is also known to be from Mindanao,” Pimentel stressed.
That is why, Pimentel said Pacquiao’s filing of his COC under the PROMDI’s banner, is in no way an attempt to play safe in the event that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would find the Cusi wing faction of the PDP-Laban the legitimate group and not theirs.
“No. No because I already filed an answer to the Cusi petition in the Comelec, so I know what the Cusi petition contains,” he said.
“I’m very confident that my group or the real PDP-Laban will win the case before the Comelec,” Pimentel stressed.
“Because in form and in substance, the Cusi petition is very lacking, very deficient. I am very confident about the case before the Comelec,” he added.
Meanwhile, Melvin Matibag, secretary general of the PDP-Laban led by Cusi, said they have already sent a copy of the party’s National Executive Committee’s resolution expelling Pacquiao as a member of the PDP-Laban for violating party rules for filing his COC under PROMDI.
Matibag said the office of the senator has already received the copy of the resolution.
The PDP-Laban is split into two factions—the Cusi wing and the Pacquiao-Pimentel wing—which are both supporting different candidates in the national and local upcoming 2022 elections.