The Manny Pacquiao-Koko Pimentel-led faction of the PDP-Laban party denounced the Alfonso Cusi-led assembly in Clark, Pampanga on Saturday.
In a statement, the Pacquiao-Pimentel faction said it does not recognize the "purported" assembly at Royce Hotel and Casino, which staged an election of new party officials.
The assembly was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte, who backed the Cusi camp.
"They added that all actions made during their 'illegal assembly' have no force and effect over the PDP-Laban because these were not authorized by the members and was not sanctioned by party president Sen. Manny Pacquiao," the group said.
In a simultaneous video-conference meeting led by PDP-Laban founding member and Executive Vice-Chairman Pimentel III, he reminded the members to stay united behind the leadership of Pacquiao.
The meeting was attended by more than 100 PDP-Laban chapters nationwide.
“Tayo po ay may hinaharap na pagsubok ngayon sa ating partido kaya ang importante ay manatili po tayong malakas at magtiwala sa liderato ng ating partido sa ilalim ng ating presidente na si Senator Manny Pacquiao. Huwag po tayong mag-alala kasi ang talagang ipinaglalaban namin dito ay yung boses po ng ating mga chapter members sa buong bansa,” Pimentel said.
They added that all actions made during Cusi's “illegal assembly” have no force and effect over the PDP-Laban because these were not authorized by the members and was not sanctioned by party president Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's faction is supposedly backed by "thousands of bona fide and original grassroots PDP-Laban members."
Jovel Lopez, a PDP-Laban community leader in Bulacan and a party member since the founding of party by former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel in 1982, said he does not understand why party newcomers are now trying to wrest control of the party.
“Nagtataka nga po kami kung bakit ngayon eh ang daming nagsulputang mga politiko na nagsasabing PDP daw sila at kami pa na mga orihinal na miyembro ang naitsa-pwera. Hindi naman po kami basta-basta makakapayag na itong mga sabit na ito ang mamayagpag sa partidong aming itinayo,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Council President Marlo Tabac, a PDP-Laban grassroots leader in Mindanao, stressed that Pacquiao has full support of the majority of the PDP-Laban members and does not recognize the proceedings and the actions taken in the Clark assembly.
“The Clark assembly is a farce. Karamihan naman sa mga nandoon ay pawang mga sabit lang sa partido and they are not even real members of PDP-Laban. Their political loyalty has never been with PDP-Laban so there’s really no doubt in my mind that they are out to destroy the party. Let me remind them however that this was not the first time that people tried to bring down PDP-Laban but they failed. I can tell you now, they will fail again,” said Tabac.