Expelled PDP-Laban exec says removal against party's bylaws

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2021 09:21 AM | Updated as of Jul 11 2021 09:43 AM

MANILA - One of the expelled members of the ruling PDP-Laban said Sunday he does not recognize as official his removal from the ruling party by the camp of its acting president Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

The party had removed deputy secretary general Melvin Matibag, vice chairman Alfonso Cusi and membership committee Head Astra Naik for allegedly violating several provisions of the party's constitution, according to a statement from its executive director Ron Munsayac.

Matibag said he has yet to receive an official copy of his removal and he does not recognize the move of the senator's camp.

"'Yung ginawa po nilang aksyon na yan na pagpapatalsik daw sa amin ay labag po sa bylaws ng ating partido. Wala pong disciplining authority ang National Executive Council, lalo't higit yang komite na yan, komite lamang na crineate ni Sen. Manny Pacquiao," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Their action violates the party's bylaws. The National Executive National Council has no disciplining authority, especially that that committee was created only by Sen. Manny Pacquiao.)

"Maliwanag po sa bylaws ng PDP, Article 7, sinasabi run, ang pagdisiplina sa mga miyembro, ang puwede gumawa niyan ay ang chapter kung saan sila nabibilang or kung saang national council sila ay napapaloob."

(It's clear in the PDP bylaws, under Article 7, that members can be disciplined only by the chapter or national council they are under.)

Matibag said that since they are officers of the party, only the National Council, by a vote of two-thirds, can remove them.

He also denied that he and the other expelled members pledged allegiance to another party, which was cited as a reason for their dismissal.

"May provision ang aming bylaws, nagsasabi ang PDP-Laban ay 'di pinipigilan makipag-alyansa sa ibang partido. Malinaw po ito, ang sineserve ng ginagawa nila ay personal na interes ng iisang tao na naghahangad tumakbong pangulo ng bansa na gagamitin ang partido," he said.

(Our bylaws do not hold back PDP-Laban to ally with other parties. It's clear that what they're doing is serving the personal interest of someone who wants to run for president by using the party.)

PARTY ELECTION ON JULY 17?

The senator and his camp are urged to attend the national council meeting on July 16 and the national assembly on July 17, Matibag said.

"Ag termino po ng opisina ng lahat ng ospiyal ng PDP-Laban ay 2 years. So ngayon po, lahat ng opisyal ay in-hold over capacity. Sigurado po sa, 16, magkakaroon po ng pag-uusap. 'Pag nanawagan po ng eleksyon, magkakaroon po ng election sa 17 kung saan iboboto ang national officers ng PDP-Laban," he said.

(Party officials can hold office for 2 years. So all officers are currently in hold-over capacity. If it's discussed on the 16th and they call for an election, there will be a voting for the national officers of PDP-Laban on 17.)

"Sana po pumunta sila sa July 16 and 17, dahil imbitado naman po sila. Maaari pa pong dumalo ang chairman namin, makakapag-usap pa po kami."

(We hope they can attend on July 16 and 17 because they're invited. The party chairman might also attend, we can talk to each other then.)

The rift in the ruling party begun when Pacquiao was named acting president without the knowledge of its chairman President Rodrigo Duterte, Cusi earlier said.

A party meeting in May that Pacquiao did not sanction resulted in a resolution urging Duterte, 76, to seek the vice presidency in next year's national elections and choose his running mate.

Pacquiao and Duterte have been engaged in a word war after the former criticized his once close ally over his position on the South China Sea issue and alleged corruption under the current administration.

The senator is presently in the United States to train for an upcoming boxing bout.

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