Pimentel tells PDP-Laban members to ignore July 17 assembly organized by Cusi

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 13 2021 08:52 PM

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MANILA — Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Tuesday told his PDP-Laban party mates to ignore the July 17 national assembly organized by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

"Hindi po namin kinikilala 'yung July 17 gathering na pinatawag ni Sec. Cusi. So ang panawagan po sa aming mga party mates, 'wag na kayo mag-attend diyan," Pimentel, executive vice-chairman and former president of the ruling political party, said in an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(We don't recognize the July 17 gathering called by Sec. Cusi. So we call on our party mates to not attend it.)

Cusi, vice-chair of the PDP-Laban, and his allies in the party set the upcoming gathering after their meeting in May in Cebu where a resolution was passed urging President Rodrigo Duterte, the party's chairman, to run for the country's second highest post next year.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the party's acting president who is rumored to be eyeing the presidency next year, did not sanction that meeting.

But Duterte told Cusi to conduct the Cebu meeting. He will also attend the July 17 gathering, according to his spokesman.

Cusi and some other officers were recently expelled from the party for allegedly violating rules over their alleged support to presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's possible bid for the country's top post, despite not being a member of PDP-Laban.

Aside from the apparent rift with Cusi, Pacquiao is also engaged in a word war with Duterte after he criticized the current administration's approach on the West Philippine Sea issue and alleged failure to curb corruption.

Pimentel said the party's leadership will call for a national assembly in September this year.

He earlier ruled out the chances of him, Pacquiao, and other party leaders attending the July 17 gathering which he called an “unauthorized, unlawful assembly.”

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