PDP-Laban Cusi wing allies with another party amid rift with Pacquiao-led partymates

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2021 08:56 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2021 11:43 PM

PDP Laban President Alfonso Cusi presents President Rodrigo Duterte’s signed Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance. Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News
PDP Laban President Alfonso Cusi presents President Rodrigo Duterte’s signed Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance. Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi on Thursday forged an alliance with Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) amid its row with another wing led by Sen. Manny Pacquaio. 

PDDS, formed in 2018, is helmed by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Greco Belgica.

"We are moving into party politics. We share the same principles, ideologies. So nagtutulong-tulong kami... na isulong ang prinsipyong magpapaunlad sa mamamayang Pilipino," said Cusi. 

Belgica said PDDS was organized to "continue the aspirations (and) the ideals of President Rodrigo Duterte after he finishes his term."

Cusi's wing in PDP-Laban has endorsed the vice presidential bid of Duterte next year. Their nomination of Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as their standard bearer, however, has not been accepted by Duterte's longtime aide.

The other faction, meanwhile, led by Pacquiao and Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, have picked the former as their candidate for president in 2022.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to settle the issue on which of the two factions is the legitimate PDP-Laban, a party founded by Pimentel's father, among others. 

Cusi said he is "hoping and praying" that Comelec will rule in their favor.

"That’s their business. We just have to do what we need for the party... We are just hoping and praying that it will be favorable for us. But we cannot react whatever the decision of the Comelec will be," said Cusi.

Pimentel believes as well that the poll body will recognize the faction he is a part of.

"We are confident na ang objective Comelec ay papanig po sa amin, kung talagang objectivity lang ang pag-uusapan," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo last Monday.

While he acknowledged that majority of the Comelec commissioners were appointed by Duterte, Pimentel said they know their oath of office, as well as the qualifications required of them, "which are neutrality, impartiality, objectivity."

"Once nanumpa na sila bilang Comelec commissioner, putulin na nila lahat ng kanilang political loyalties. 'Yung kanilang mga personal connections to politicians, putol na dapat 'yun," he said.

"Kaya nga, umaasa tayo na with the independent Comelec, a Constitutional body, we will have to get a fair decision, or a fair judgement in this controversy."

"Ang dapat gawin ng Comelec, trace back. Magte-trace back lang sila, sino ba ang kilala nilang PDP sa mahabang panahon na," said Pimentel.

"Gamitin na lang nila yung ebidensya na nasa harap na nila, 'yung mga files nila, mga past acts nila. Tingnan na lang nila lahat 'yan."

On Wednesday, the Comelec asked the Pacquiao/Pimentel wing to answer the petition of Cusi wing that sought to declare them "illegitimate."

Cusi's wing disclosed on Thursday it already issued Duterte a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance despite the pendency of the legitimacy issue.

The Comelec is expected to come out with a resolution on the PDP-Laban feud in October. 

The filing of the certificate of candidacy for the May 9, 2022 polls is set on Oct. 1-8.


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