Pimentel: Event by 'rogue members' not sanctioned
MANILA - A faction of PDP-Laban convened on Friday to call for the removal of party leaders Sen. Aquilino Pimentel and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Pimentel is party president while Alvarez, who was ousted as House Speaker on Monday, is secretary-general.
The party faction gathered at the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City to elect new leaders, said Willy Talag, PDP-Laban Membership Committee chair for the National Capital Region.
Under the party's bylaws and constitution, the party should hold elections every 2 years, said Talag, who seeks to replace Alvarez as secretary-general.
A certain Rogelio Garcia from Soccsksargen was nominated as Pimentel's replacement, Talag said.
Pimentel said the gathering and the election of new officials was "not officially sanctioned" by PDP-Laban as it was convened by a member "who was expelled from the party."
"Talag is unknown to me. I researched, nagtanong ako sa mga tao (I asked around), apparently he ran in 2016 for congressman in a district in Makati and got 6,000 votes," Pimentel told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
"He's not even a party stalwart," he said.
Pimentel also rebuffed Talag's claims that around 10,000 party members attended the gathering and clamored for new party leaders.
"They claim to be a national assembly but where did the people come from? It's easy to mobilize people if you have money," Pimentel said.
"They are rogue members. Some of them are even non-members," he added.
The senator said the party will file legal cases against those who organized the event.
"They are usurpers of party authority and shall be dealt with in accordance with existing election and criminal laws and party rules," he said.
Pimentel was removed as Senate President by his peers in May, while Alvarez was ousted as Speaker on the day Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address.
-- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News