Pimentel denies Alvarez booted out of PDP-Laban
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday denied that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has been booted out from the ruling PDP-Laban party.

Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban, issued the denial after a faction, led by Rogelio Garcia, former labor undersecretary and party chairman for Region 12, and Cesar Cuntapay, interim president of Southern Mindanao regional council, earlier claimed to have a resolution declaring Alvarez as persona non grata in the party.

The senator said the faction does not represent the party.

“Whatever their complaints (are), someone who has expanded the base of PDP-Laban (at) the House of Representatives from three to 123 members cannot be said to have done or be doing acts inimical to the party. Speaker Alvarez has in fact strengthened the party with quality members and was crucial in the passage of laws that forward the change we in the party advocate,” Pimentel said in a statement.

He advised Cuntapay to respect the PDP-Laban’s processes and submit his complaint to the party’s arbitration procedure.

He said he would not allow the party built by his father and namesake, former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr., “to be dragged through the mud because of personal differences between party members.”

“We are working to build a better society and a Federal Philippines. Anyone who describes himself as a loyal party member must respect and obey the party’s by-laws,” he said.

Pimentel also ordered Cuntapay to immediately cease from actions inimical to the PDP-Laban or be subject to disciplinary action.

He said that while he hopes Cuntapay and Alvarez can mend fences for the good of PDP-Laban, he will not hesitate to expel the former for using the party’s name for personal reasons.

“We can only achieve our goals if we present a united front to the world. By providing ammunition to those who seek to sow divisions within the party, Mr. Cuntapay is harming PDP-Laban and can be expelled should he continue with these actions,” Pimentel said.

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