Ex-Energy chief Petilla jumps to PDP-Laban
TACLOBAN CITY – There is no such thing as forever in politics.
Former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla abandoned the political party that carried his senatorial ambition that went bust and whose leaders appointed him to a national position from a local official of a poor province.
Petilla took his oath as new member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) last August 2.
He and his younger brother, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, joined the mass oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members officiated by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president.
Petilla said they were invited by Pimentel through Lutgardo “Lutz” Barbo to join the administration party.
Barbo, a former governor of Eastern Samar and the current Senate secretary, is one of the high-ranking PDP-Laban officials.
Before he joined PDP-Laban, Petilla, a scion of a political family in Leyte, was an ally of former president Benigno Aquino and a member of the Liberal Party.
He was serving his term as governor in October 2012 when then president Aquino appointed him energy secretary –his first national position.
He stepped down in June 2015 to prepare his senatorial bid under LP. He, however, didn’t make it to the magic 12.
Petilla explained he decided to leave LP for PDP-Laban to ensure that Leyte would get the needed attention and assistance from the administration of President Duterte whose mother was from the neighboring province of Southern Leyte.
“Politically, we can survive. However, how can the province ask for assistance if we are not politically aligned with the administration? So it is a decision that is actually not only good for us but more so, for the province,” Petilla said.
Petilla also dismissed rumors that he was joining the PDP-Laban in preparation for either the 2019 elections or a possible Cabinet appointment.
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