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Nograles: Cusi group reaching out to Koko, Pacman
President Duterte (and/or Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi), seen not wearing masks indoors at one point, attends an assembly of a PDP-Laban faction on Saturday, July 17, 2021as aired by state broadcaster RTVM. Party leader Koko Pimentel, a senator, said the assembly was an unsanctioned meeting against the group's bylaws.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Nograles: Cusi group reaching out to Koko, Pacman

Edu Punay, Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi continues to reach out to Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Manny Pacquiao, according to PDP-Laban executive vice president and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Nograles said Pacquiao, who was ousted as acting party president during the PDP-Laban assembly last weekend at Clark in Pampanga, and Pimentel remain as party members and that there are ongoing efforts to reach out to them.

“We’ve always invited them to the meetings. In fact, even if Senator Pacquiao... is training for his fight, we’ve invited him to attend the Zoom meetings so he can voice out his views. And of course, for Senator Pimentel, we continue to reach out to him from the very beginning,” Nograles said.

“So we still continue to open the doors to both of them and in fact in the national council meeting, there was even a suggestion to create a council of elders and one of the proposed members.. (was) Sen. Koko Pimentel,” he added.

Last Saturday, Pacquiao was ousted as the party’s acting president. Duterte was present during the event, which saw Cusi’s election as new party president. Pimentel dismissed the meeting as “illegal” and argued that Duterte’s presence would not legitimize the assembly.

Due process

In response, Nograles maintained that those who attended the party’s assembly were duly elected, recognized and authorized to represent their respective councils.

“Everything that was done in the national council meeting and national assembly meeting were in line with the constitution of PDP-Laban, so everything was done by the book. We followed what was stated in the constitution of the PDP-Laban,” Nograles told CNN Philippines.

“All members who voted in both the national council and national assembly are authorized to vote as per the constitution of PDP-Laban, as per the official records submitted to the Comelec (Commission on Elections) by no less than Sen. Koko Pimentel himself,” he added.

One PDP-Laban

Nograles insisted there is only one PDP-Laban with one set of officers and that the leadership issue has been resolved through the assembly.

Aside from Cusi, other officers who were elected last Saturday were Nograles (executive vice president), Edwin Olivarez (vice president for National Capital Region), Raul Lambino (vice president for Luzon), Ben Evardone (vice president for Visayas), Charito Plaza (vice president for Mindanao), Rianne Cuevas (national treasurer) and Sen. Bong Go (auditor-general).

Also elected as party chairs were Astravel Naik (membership), Noel Felongco (education), Antonio Kho (finance), Richard Nethercot (legal), Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (public information), Reymar Mansilungan (livelihood) and Maria Katrina Nicole Contacto (youth affairs).

Ceasefire

Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez yesterday called for a ceasefire on tirades against Pacquiao to allow the boxing champ to focus on his fight against American Errol Spence Jr. next month.

“I am calling for a ceasefire on attacks against our boxing icon to allow him to focus single-mindedly on his training. He has to prepare well for his fight. There should be nothing to distract and bother him,” Rodriguez appealed.

“Let us all support him because he brings pride and honor to our country. We will have time for divisive politics after the fight,” Rodriguez pointed out.

The Filipino icon is training in Los Angeles, California for his fight against Spence, scheduled at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21.

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