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Pimentel dubs rival PDP-Laban faction as 'bluff, unpatriotic'

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor 

PHOTO: Rappler

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday slammed the allegations of the Cusi wing in PDP-Laban as “bluff” and “unpatriotic” for supposedly targeting Senator Manny Pacquiao amid preparations for his bout.

“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,” said Pimentel, son and namesake of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel who co-founded the party.



“The snapshots of documents being circulated actually show that within days of becoming PDP-Laban President, Senator Manny Pacquiao gave up the presidency of the People’s Champ Movement, a regional political party. This was an act which was not even required of him to do,” the senator added, who was recently ousted from his PDP-Laban post. 

Pimentel, who now sits as vice-chairman of the Pacquiao wing of PDP-Laban, further took tirades at the Cusi faction branding it “unpatriotic” for targeting Pacquiao at the time of his preparation for a fight in the boxing ring. 

“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!” he said.

Pimentel made the statement after the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi threatened Pacquiao of expulsion over an alleged violation of the organization’s constitution and bylaws.

In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Pacquiao was accused of converting his formed regional party People’s Champ Movement (PCM) into a national political party. 

Pimentel, who wrote the party’s constitution, pointed out that there are no existing party rules that prohibit the members from having memberships in PDP-Laban and a regional party at the same time.

“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,” he said. 

On the warning of Pacquiao's expulsion, the Cusi-led camp shared screenshots of the alleged "minutes of the meeting of the organizational meeting," which bears the names of Pacquiao as the group president; his kin, Rogelio Pacquiao, as the executive vice president; and other party officials. 

Melvin Matibag, a Cusi ally, revealed that the alleged agenda in the supposed meeting is highlighted by the election of the new set of officers of PCM's, and the amendment of its constitution and by-laws. 

“News quoting reliable sources said Pacquiao is allegedly converting the People's Champ Movement, his regional political party, into a national political party, a major ground for expulsion from his membership in the PDP-Laban," he said. 



However, the provided documents during the organizational meeting on December 20, 2020 in Pacquiao’s residence in General Santos City, did not carry the signatures of any of the names that appeared. 

Matibag’s camp has yet to provide the signed portions of the supposed PCM minutes of the transformation meeting.


Report source: ABS-CBN News