Pacquiao Campaigns Like 'Opposition,' Duterte Wing of PDP-Laban Says

Reconciliation may be no longer be possible.
Photo/s: Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

The PDP-Laban faction pushing for the vice presidential bid of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday rejected the possibility of reconciling with Sen. Manny Pacquiao, whom it accused of campaigning like the "opposition."

Pacquiao, who declared his intention to run for president in 2022, no longer shares the vision of the administration to be considered the running mate of Duterte, said the faction's secretary general Melvin Matibag.

"Siguro kung magkakaroon ng pag-uusap, hindi siguro pwedeng magdikta ng terms dahil we know where we stand and alam naman siguro nila kung saan sila. I think that will not be possible anymore," he told reporters in a virtual interview.

"Kasi iba na yung linya ni Sen. Pacquiao. He's already campaigning like an opposition candidate, no longer an administration candidate or a PDP candidate," he added.

Matibag said they extended all the courtesy to reconcile with the Pacquiao camp but it did not materialize. The faction earlier said they asked the senator to run for reelection under their slate.

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"Hindi maganda yung mga naging response tapos publicly marami nang sinabi si Sen. Pacquiao at ni-criticize yung administration. So I don't think ngayon magiging posible pa," he said.

Pacquiao accepted his partymates' nomination for him to run for president in the 2022 elections and vowed to fight corruption in the government.

"Sa mga nanunungkulan sa ating pamahalaan na patuloy na nagsasamantala at nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, malapit na kayong magsama-sama sa kulungan. Your time is up," he said.

The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi nominated its own presidential bet, Sen. Bong Go, with Duterte for vice president. While the 76-year-old incumbent accepted the endorsement, the first term senator repeatedly declined the nomination.

In the end, Matibag said only the Commission on Elections could settle the leadership dispute within PDP-Laban. Their faction earlier filed a petition before the Comelec to declare the Pacquiao wing as "legitimate."

The Comelec is expected to tackle the issue between the two PDP-Laban factions ahead of the 2022 elections.

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