MANILA - Ruling party PDP-Laban will elect its new set of officers during their meeting at the end of the week, as stated in their bylaws, but no booting out of members will happen, a supposedly expelled party official said on Wednesday.
In an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo, PDP-Laban Secretary-General Melvin Matibag said the assembly on Friday and Saturday will discuss the committee council reports as well as hold elections for the party's new leaders.
"Maaari pong mapag-usapan... kung sino ang mamumuno sa partido, para mawala na po [yung mga] acting... Kasi ang bylaws po namin, ang nakasaad po diyan, 2 years lang po ang term of office ng lahat ng opisyal. Pero magmula pa noong 2016 ay walang eleksyon kaya lahat po yan ay hold-over capacity," he said.
(It is possible for us to discuss who will head the party, so the terms "acting" will be removed. Our bylaws state that an official can only hold a term of office for 2 years, but we haven't elected any new officers since 2016.)
Matibag said the party's leaders and members need to have a "fresh mandate." PDP-Laban is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Para matapos na rin ang usapin kung sino ang mga pinuno ng partido," said Matibag.
(This is to also end the talks on who are really the leaders of the party.)
Matibag was among those expelled from the party last week amid the growing rift between his faction, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, the party's vice chairman, and that of PDP-Laban acting president Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Cusi and Membership Committee Head Astra Naik were also expelled from the party after some 10,000 PDP-Laban members supposedly signed a manifesto against these officials, according to a statement from PDP-Laban Executive Director Ron Munsayac.
But Matibag said their party officials still recognize them as members.
PDP TO BOOT OUT PACQUIAO, PIMENTEL?
Pacquiao and Sen. Koko Pimentel, the party's executive vice-chairman and a longtime party member, can be removed from their positions because of the elections, but not as members, said Matibag.
At least two-thirds vote among party members will be needed to remove someone from PDP as part of the "process," he added.
"Ito po ay posible mangyari na sila ay matanggal sa puwesto na hinahawakan nila. Pero yung pagiging miyembro po ng PDP-laban ay mayroon proseso, may pag-uusap po diyan, may mga notices po na pinapadala at kailangan po magkakaroon ng botohan," according to Matibag.
(They can be removed from their posts. But there is a process we need to follow for someone to be removed as a member of PDP. There are talks, and notices will be sent out before the voting)
"Hindi po namin sila (remove), sabi nga po, ang pag-boot out ng member, wala pa po sa usapan yan kasi kailangan may pormal na reklamo na dadaan sa proseso."
(We will not remove them. Just like what I said, there are no talks to boot out members because a complaint must be filed first.)
The rift in the ruling party begun when Pacquiao was named acting president without the knowledge of Duterte, Cusi earlier said.
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.
Pacquiao is presently in the United States to train for an upcoming boxing bout.