Pacquiao tells PDP-Laban to snub Cusi call for national assembly

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Pacquiao tells PDP-Laban to snub Cusi call for national assembly
Sen. Manny Pacquiao speaks at the Senate's plenary hall in this undated photo.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan acting president Sen. Manny Pacquiao is telling his partymates to snub the call of their vice chairman, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, for a national assembly this May 31.

In a May 25 memorandum obtained by Philstar.com, Pacquiao told PDP-Laban members that they are “strongly advised to ignore” Cusi’s invitation for a national assembly as this is supposedly not sanctioned by national party officers.

Pacquiao said Cusi’s call violated the PDP-Laban’s constitution, but did not indicate if the energy secretary will be sanctioned.

“Any call for a national council, assembly or meeting must be approved by both the chairman and president only,” the senator said.

“This is not the time for politics. Instead, let us help our country ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued.

Cusi confirmed to Philstar.com that he did call for a meeting of the national council, but refused to comment on Pacquiao’s memo to PDP-Laban members.

Fissures in the ruling party have begun to emerge in the run-up to next year’s elections.

Pacquiao previously warned Cusi against “poisoning” the minds of their partymates as he is reportedly pushing for President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president when the national leadership says it is focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PDP-Laban’s leadership had disowned calls from its own members for Duterte to run as vice president in next year’s elections.

The Bulacan chapter of PDP-Laban also passed a resolution expressing “strong disapproval” of Pacquiao’s comments critical of Duterte, who is the party’s national chairman.

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