Pacquiao says no rift within PDP-Laban as 2022 national elections near

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2021 09:56 PM

Pacquiao says no rift within PDP-Laban as 2022 national elections near 1
Sen. Manny Pacquiao listens during the Senate hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal on Feb. 24, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - PDP-Laban President Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Monday belied observations that factions are starting to form within the ruling party less than a year before the 2022 national elections.

"We want PDP-Laban to be a home for its members instead of just a political party," said Pacquiao, who scolded several allies in March for pushing President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president next year.

"So far, maganda naman 'yung relation namin sa PDP-Laban. Nagco-communicate tayo sa kanila from time to time," he told reporters in an online press conference.

(So far, our relationship within PDP-Laban is good. We communicate with them from time to time.)

"Okay naman sila. Nananatili sila sa PDP-Laban. Wala naman akong nakikita sa ngayon [na paksyon]," he said.

(They are okay. They are still with PDP-Laban. I don't see any factions as of now.)

Pacquiao did not mention names, but in March, he called out Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for allegedly sowing fissures within the party.

"Si Cusi naman, hindi ako nakikipag-away sa iyo [pero] hindi ako ang tao na puwede mo lang laru-laruin," the senator said in a press conference.

(As for Cusi, I am not quarreling with you but I am not the person you can toy with.)

"Kung umiikot ka, pulitika pinag-uusapan mo, 'wag mo lasunin ang mga utak ng mga miyembro ng partido para magkahiwa-hiwalay," he said.

(If you are going around the country, talking about politics, do not poison the minds of the party members and sow division.)

"Warning lang ito. Hindi ako nakikipag-away sa iyo. Gusto ko makipagkaibigan sa iyo," said the boxer-turned-lawmaker.

(This is just a warning. I am not quarreling with you. I want to befriend you.)

Talk of possible rifts within PDP-Laban spurred earlier this year after Duterte said in a public speech that his former close aide, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, wants to be his successor in Malacañang.

The cajoling was made despite reports that Pacquiao has been preparing to launch his presidential bid for the 2022 elections.

PDP-Laban earlier said it has yet to name its standard bearer for the presidential polls.

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