A PDP-Laban official on Monday rejected the decision of party president Sen. Manny Pacquiao and its national executive committee to expel him from the party along with Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi over alleged disloyalty.
PDP-Laban Deputy Secretary General Melvin Matibag said the process by which he, Cusi, and membership committee head Astra Naik were removed was against the party's by-laws.
"I think kapag sinabi na legal yung usapan, makikita natin na mali yung prosesong ginawa," he told reporters.
The party resolution which Pacquiao issued stated that Cusi, Matibag and Naik violated Article VII, Section 6 of their constitution which prohibits members from maintaining any allegiance to another political party.
IThe resolutionalleged that Cusi manipulated the party to support a tandem of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and President Rodrigo Duterte for president and vice president, respectively, in the 2022 elections, making him "guilty" of allegiance to the President's daughter who is not their partymate.
Such an act, which Matibag and Naik supposedly directly participated in, is punishable under the party's constitution with immediate and automatic expulsion.
Matibag said the same section in the PDP-Laban constitution provides that the disciplining authority should be either the concerned chapter or council where the erring member belongs to, or the national council. In their case, it's the national council that should discipline them, not Pacquiao or the National Executive Committee.
Matibag also said they were not informed in advance about their expulsion from the party.
"Technically as of now, I think walang natanggal, hindi kami natanggal. We will continue to function as officers," he said.
Matibag said that July 17 national assembly of PDP-Laban would push through even as Pacquiao already said he would not attend it.