PDP-Laban declares Pacquiao’s post vacant, but denies he was ‘ousted’
MANILA, Philippines — The national assembly of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, led by the faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, has declared several party posts vacant—including the one being held by Senator Manny Pacquiao as party president.
PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag said 16 posts have been declared vacant during the national assembly. This includes the positions of the president; executive vice president; vice presidents for the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; secretary-general; treasurer; auditor; as well as the chairmanships of the committees on membership, education, finance, legal, public information, livelihood, and youth affairs.
The members of the party are also set to vote on its new set of officers later in the afternoon.
Party officials, however, refuse to say that Pacquiao was ousted from his post, saying an election needs to be held as all posts are already technically now on holdover status.
PDP-Laban member Atty. Red Tuazon, quoting Matibag, said the PDP-Laban Constitution gives the national officers a term of two years.
But Pacquiao only became the party’s president in December 2020, meaning he only held his post for seven months.
Tuazon, still quoting Matibag, said Pacquiao only took over the previous post that was held by Senator Koko Pimentel.
“He took over the term of Sen Pimentel. Who is also a holdover. That is why we question the legality. Paso na lahat ang positions,” Tuazon said.
The national assembly was held amid what appears to be a clash between two factions within the party — one with Pacquiao and another one with Cusi. Pacquiao earlier tagged the national assembly as “unauthorized.”
To recall, Pacquiao earlier expelled Cusi for allegedly violating provisions of the party’s constitution “by showing allegiance to a political party apart from PDP-Laban.”
But during the party’s national council meeting on Friday, organized by Cusi’s group, a motion was approved voiding what they called an “illegal” resolution expelling the energy secretary and two other party leaders from the party.
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