Pacquiao is Removed as President of PDP-Laban Party

In an assembly presided over by President Duterte.
Manny Pacquiao speaks during a press conference with Errol Spence Jr at Fox Studios on July 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Their fight is scheduled on Aug. 21, 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo/s: Michael Ownes, Agence France-Presse

(UPDATE) PDP-Laban members on Saturday removed Sen. Manny Pacquiao as their acting president, electing a new set of officers during its national assembly that was overseen by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, who is among those pushing for Duterte's vice presidential candidacy, was elected president of the party after the positions of all national officers and committe chairs vacant. 

REPORTR EXPLAINER

Continue reading below ↓

The party opened the nomination for its new officers on Friday during its national council meeting. Former Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II headed the party's election committee.

Other newly-elected officers include:

  • Cabinet Sec. Karlo Alexei Nograles (Executive Vice President)
  • Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez (VP for NCR)
  • Atty. Raul Lambino (VP for Luzon)
  • Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone (VP for Visayas)
  • PEZA Director General Charito Plaza (VP for Mindanao)
  • Rianne Cuevas (National Treasurer)
  • Sen. Bong Go. (Auditor General)

Cusi earlier stressed the need to hold an election during the national assembly, saying that all their officials were serving in acting capacity.

"Every two years we should have our election. Napakaraming taon na ang nagdaan na hindi tayo nagkaroon ng election. So bale kaming lahat are acting officers," he said.

Atty. Red Tuazon, who spoke on behalf of PDP-Laban deputy secretary-general Melvon Matibag, said Pacquiao could not be considered "ousted" as he was only serving on holdover capacity, along with all party officials prior to the election on Saturday.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

"He took over the term of Sen. [Koko] Pimentel who is also a holdover. That is why we question the legality. Paso na lahat ang positions," he told reporters.

"We want to formalize it and the basis for declaring these posts vacant is that provision in the Constitution that the national officers only serve for two years. We want to seek fresh mandate for all," he added.

MORE ON PACQUIAO VS. DUTERTE

Continue reading below ↓

In a statement issued as the national assembly was happening, Pacquiao reiterated that Cusi and his group should have focused on addressing the pandemic instead of politics.

Nakakalungkot na nakapasok na ang Delta variant sa Pilipinas at kapag hindi maagapan, marami ang maaaring mahawa. Ito dapat ang prioridad ng ating gobyerno," he said.

"Kung sa tingin nila Cusi at iba pa na mas importante ang politika sa ngayon, bahala na sila. Sa huli, isa lang naman ang tanong na dapat sagutin. Sino ba ang sasamahan ng taong bayan?” he added.

The senator's camp also thousands of the party's original grassroots members denounced the national assembly as they described the election of new officers as a "farce, illegal and not sanctioned by the general membership."

Pacquiao's removal from his post came after weeks of testy exchanges between him and Duterte, who chastised the senator over his comments on the West Philippine Sea dispute and for raising alleged corruption in the government.

Continue reading below ↓

Pacquiao, who is now in the U.S. for his boxing match with Errol Spence Jr., skipped the national assembly and urged his partymates to ignore the event as well, saying that it was an "unauthorized" activity.

Latest Headlines
Recent News