Cusi faction: Pacquiao faces expulsion from PDP-Laban

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2021 08:54 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2021 10:12 PM

MANILA - Sen. Manny Pacquiao could be expelled from ruling party PDP-Laban following supposed complaints on loyalty and violation of their constitution, a party official said on Friday.

The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said they would give Pacquiao's camp 10 to 15 days to explain why they should not be expelled from the party, Secretary-General Melvin Matibag said.

Matibag said their National Executive Council met Friday and passed a resolution asking Pacquiao's camp to answer a complaint for disloyalty and violation of the party’s by laws and constitution by the alleged conversion of regional party People's Champ Movement (PCM) into a national one. 

The PCM is a regional political party in the Philippines, particularly in the provinces of General Santos and Sarangani.

Such conversion, he said, happened even if the senator was still leading the PDP-Laban. Pacquiao was ousted as the party president on July 17 following a widening rift between his faction and Cusi's.

He said they found out the documents of the conversion on last Monday. 

"Ang issue kasi dito talaga (the issue here) is the disloyalty to the party and the conversion of PCM into a national political party which is directly in conflict with the principle and constitution of PDP Laban," according to Matibag.

“Ang position ng isa diyan they should be considered deemed (sic) removed from the party immediately there will be double allegiance eh,” he added.

Matibag said the complaint covered the senator and his 2 brothers whom he did not name. The complainant, he said, is party member Raymar Masilungan from Bicol.

Pacquiao has 2 brothers in the House of Representatives—-Saranggani Rep. Rogelio Ruel Pacquiao and OFW Family Party List Rep. Alberto Bobby Pacquiao.

The PDP-Laban executive said they have not made a decision yet because their internal rules state that the lawmaker's camp be given a notice first and allow them to respond before a decision, which could still be appealed.

“We will go through the due process kasi may internal rules kami on the expulsion."

Matibag alleged that Pacquiao's camp wants to keep his allies in the 2 parties in preparation for his presidential candidacy. 

"Balak nila ngayon: hawak nila PDP-Laban, on the other hand here's another national political party People's Champ Movement na ginawa presidente is the sister in law."

(They plan to take a hold of PDP-Laban while also handling another party, PCM, which will serve as its sister in law.)

(What does this mean? PCM is our enemy here. It's a political maneuvering. They talked about this as part of their preparations)

 LENIENCY IN MEMBERSHIP, COVER UP

Matibag agreed with Senator Koko Pimentel’s earlier pronouncement that there is leniency in the PDP when it comes to memberships in local parties. He clarified, however, that those parties are allied with PDP.

He also claimed there was an attempt on Pacquiao's camp to cover up the problem.

The PDP official also added that the boxing champ has technically expelled himself from the ruling party. 

Matibag said Pacquiao “is maintaining membership in the People's Champ Movement his political party, while being a member of the ruling party. This, as PDP-Laban is poised to hear Pacquiao's side.”

"Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. The effect of the good Senator's (Pacquiao) allegiance to PCM is automatic expulsion from the ruling party which, fortunately or unfortunately, he has brought upon himself. His maneuvers are clear and blatant violation of PDP-Laban party rules," he said.

Matibag said PDP-Laban would afford Pacquiao the opportunity to defend himself as provided by their constitution.

PCM MINUTES

Matibag cited the alleged minutes of the PCM Organizational Meeting dated Dec. 20, 2020 which showed PCM Central Committee members led by its president, Pacquiao, together with its Executive Vice President Rogelio D. Pacquiao, Secretary General Raul C. Martinez, Treasurer Reynaldo F. Constantino, Auditor Victor James B. Yap attended the said meeting reported to have taken place at the Pacquiao Compound, NLSA Road, Lagao, General Santos City. 

The minutes, he said, showed that amendment of the CBL as National Political Party, adoption and ratification of the amended CBL as a national political party, and election of officers, among other matters, also took place on the said date. 

“PCM was also converted from being a regional political party, into a national political party on the said date, the minutes read. The PCM organizational meeting took place 18 days after Pacquiao took his oath as acting national party president of PDP-Laban," he added.

DISTRACTION?

A Pacquiao ally earlier said some people are trying to distract the boxing champion from his upcoming boxing match.

Pimentel lambasted Cusi's faction regarding the issue.

In a series of tweets this morning, Pimentel said: “The PDP-LABAN constitution has consistently been interpreted by knowledgeable leaders of the party over the decades not to prohibit membership in the party and membership in a regional political party at the same time.” 

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The lawmaker added that the snapshots of documents being circulated actually show that within days of becoming PDP-Laban president, Pacquiao gave up the presidency of PCM.

"This was an act which was not even required of him to do. Hence, this issue is all a BLUFF meant to distract Senator Manny Pacquiao from his world championship boxing bout," he explained.

“This is the first time that a group of Filipinos, because of politics, has organized an effort meant to distract our Pambansang Kamao while he fights in the boxing ring to bring additional honor to our country. How unpatriotic of this group of politicians!”

In response, Matibag said Pimentel admitted the existence of PCM and that Pacquiao was its president at the time Pacquiao was inducted into PDP-Laban. 

The PDP National Headquarters led by Pimentel said Pacquiao’s continuous allegiance to PDP-Laban is unquestionable having been the campaign manager and presently the national president of the party. 

"No one questioned his authority and resolve in always supporting the candidates who are members of PDP Laban adhering to its principles and objectives. His has no allegiance to any candidate who is a member of another national party."

The same statement accused the Cusi wing of outwardly endorsing the candidacy of a person who is member of another national party.

“Up to today, the PCM is a local and regional political party. The expelled group is only peddling lies to further their malicious and baseless claims," said the lawmaker.

PDP-Laban has split into 2 factions ahead of the 2022 elections. 

Cusi's wing has backed the tandem of Senator Bong Go and President Roddrigo Duterte for president and vice president, respectively, while the Pacquiao faction is reportedly backing the boxing champ's possible bid for the presidency. 

Go has said he would only run for president if Duterte would be his running mate. 

Pacquiao, meantime, has yet to announce his plans for the country's top post. 

Pacquiao is in the United States for an upcoming boxing match against Yordenis Ugas.

- report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News