MANILA— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has directed the PDP-Laban faction led by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel to comment on the petition filed by a rival wing seeking to declare theirs "illegitimate."
In an en banc order dated Sept. 22, the Comelec asked Pacquiao and Pimentel to file within 5 days their answer to the Sept. 7 petition by the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The Cusi wing petition had asked Comelec to declare Pacquiao's group as "illegitimate officers and/or unauthorized representatives" of the PDP-Laban.
The party was founded by Pimentel's late father Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
"All their actions should be declared illegal and we are asking the Comelec to refrain them from representing that they are the official representative of PDP-Laban," PDP-Laban Cusi wing secretary general Melvin Matibag told ABS-CBN News earlier.
Both the Cusi and Pacquiao wings earlier confirmed they submitted to Comelec separate Sworn Information Update Statements (SIUS) — a document stating the party's office details, list of officers, list of elected members, and other information.
Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas predicted "bloody" deliberations on which PDP-Laban wing to recognize, but added they will be guided by laws in resolving the case.
Pacquiao, formerly a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, a party stalwart, has already launched his presidential bid last weekend.
Meanwhile, the Cusi wing has been pushing for Duterte aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go to run for president, with the incumbent as his running mate.