Marcos Jr.'s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas denies internal feud

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2021 10:14 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2021 10:05 AM

MANILA - The political party that fielded Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s candidacy as president has dismissed speculations there have an internal feud.

This came after "unseated" chairman of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), Abubakar Mangelen, filed a petition this week seeking to disqualify the lone son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. over his 1995 tax evasion conviction.

Marcos Jr.'s is PFP's current chairman.

Mangelen, who said he is the duly-elected chairman of PFP, said Marcos Jr.'s certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) is "unauthorized, defective, invalid, and void."

"Moreso, PFP's supposed indorsement of [Marcos] as Party's presidential standard bearer is inoperative, void, and non-existent," the petition read.

But despite the development, PFP Secretary General Thompson Lantion said that the party remains intact unlike President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

“Hindi naman, dahil ang amin namang hanay naman, 3 taon pa lang naman ito eh, intact naman po ‘yan, at wala naman pong talagang gusot na nangyari," Lantion explained.

"Si Mangelen, member pa rin siya ng partido, at ‘yun lang naman na binakante ay ‘yung kanyang pagiging chairman ng partido diba?… I invited him, sabi niya nasiraan siya ng sasakyan, umuulan,” he added.

The party's secretary general noted that Mangelen was unseated as chairman in the party’s convention last Sept. 18, when the PFP endorsed Marcos, Jr. as its presidential candidate, thus leaving the position vacant for him.

Members of the PFP have also expressed dismay on Mangelen’s decision to go against the party’s standard bearer.

Bong Amin, PFP-BARMM chairman, said that Mangelen even congratulated the presidential aspirant when Marcos was endorsed by the party.

“Sumasama na ang loob namin ngayon sa ginagawa niya… Nagre-react kami bilang Muslim din… Malaking respeto namin sa kaniya sana maintindihan niya ito kaya kami nagsasalita bilang kapatid niya," Amin said.

"Natatawa kami sa mga ano ni Ginoong Mangelen yung kaniyang statement ngayon na siya pa chairman ng partido. Alam naman niya na hindi na siya," he added.

PFP said they know who are allegedly behind Mangelen’s move against the party and its standard bearer. They are waiting for a copy of the petition.

NEVER INFORMED?

Mangelen stood his ground that he was never informed when Marcos Jr was installed as PFP’s chairman. He also said he never congratulated the young Marcos because he was unaware of the “takeover."

"How can I congratulate? How can I do it when in fact I do not know the situation. How can I congratulate? Hindi ko po alam ang pangyayari paano ko iko-congratulate kung sino man," he said in a phone interview.

"Gumagawa sila ng kwento dun sa pangyayari. Yung sinasabi nilang na nagkaroon ng assembly. Siguro gumawa na lang sila ng dokumento niya. Pinirmahan na lang ika ng nagkaroon ng assembly sa pagka-install kay Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Kaya officially wala po," he added.

Mangelen revealed that the party’s original plan was to support whoever President Rodrigo Duterte endorses for the 2 highest posts in the country.

That did not happen, however, which was why he felt that there was an intention to take him out of the party to endorse Bongbong.

"Itong mga kasama ko isang bagay na natulala ako na bakit kayo kumuha ng ibang tao na kakalaban yung presidente samantalang inorganisa natin ito para sa kay presidente," he explained.

"Para ba gang that is the what you call this parang naging traitor kami dun sa pangyayari. I never had that idea nalaman ko na lang yan."

Duterte had endorsed his longtime aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as his successor in 2022.

Go, however, dropped his presidential bid this week.

The apparent internal feud in PFP surfaced even as the Comelec has yet to resolve a similar issue hounding the ruling party PDP-Laban, which has two opposing chairmen - Duterte, who only joined the party shortly before joining the 2016 presidential race, and Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, son of the party's co-founder, the late Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, Jr.

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