Senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel , despite their ouster as acting party president and vice president, respectively, of the Partido (Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan PDP-Laban) remain as members of the ruling party chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
There are also efforts to reach out to Pacquiao and Pimentel, said PDP-Laban executive vice president and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who was elected to the party post along with Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi as president during the national assembly held by the party in Pampanga on Friday last week.
Pimentel said the assembly and their ouster were illegal and said he and Pacquiao will hold their own convention in September to pick their candidates for the 2022 national elections.
“We’ve always invited them to the meetings. In fact, even if Senator Pacquiao… is training for his fight, we’ve invited him to attend the Zoom meetings so he can voice out his views. And of course, for Senator Pimentel, we continue to reach out to him from the very beginning,” Nograles said.
“So we still continue to open the doors to both of them and in fact in the national council meeting, there was even a suggestion to create a council of elders and one of the proposed members was Pimentel,” he added.
Nograles insisted there is only one PDP-Laban with one set of officers and that the leadership issue has been resolved through the assembly.
Aside from Cusi, other officers who were elected last Saturday were Nograles (executive vice president), Edwin Olivarez (vice president for National Capital Region), Raul Lambino (vice president for Luzon), Ben Evardone (vice president for Visayas), Charito Plaza (vice president for Mindanao), Rianne Cuevas (national treasurer) and Sen. Bong Go (auditor-general).
Also elected as party chairs were Astravel Naik (membership), Noel Felongco (education), Antonio Kho (finance), Richard Nethercot (legal), Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (public information), Reymar Mansilungan (livelihood) and Maria Katrina Nicole Contacto (youth affairs).