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Duterte's PDP-Laban elects Palawan rep as party president while faction protests

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Duterte's PDP-Laban elects Palawan rep as party president while faction protests
Rep. Jose Alvarez (Palawan, 2nd District) speaks before members of a faction of the former administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan following his election as its president during its national assembly on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.
PDP-Laban Duterte faction

MANILA, Philippines — A faction of the former administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan elected Thursday Rep. Jose Alvarez (Palawan, 2nd District) as its new president, replacing former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi who bowed out from the post to “give way for the consolidation of the party.”

After his election as president of the PDP-Laban faction chaired by former President Rodrigo Duterte at its national assembly in Pasay City, Alvarez vowed to go around nationwide and strengthen their ranks.

“I will do everything to maintain the power and strength of our party not just for us but also for the next generation of our country,” he said in Filipino.

The group also formalized the election of Sen. Robinhood Padilla as its executive vice president, while Rep. Edwin Olivarez (Parañaque City, 1st District) was elected vice president for Metro Manila, Sen. Francis Tolentino was elected vice president for Luzon, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was elected vice president for Visayas and Sen. Ronald dela Rosa was elected vice president for Mindanao.

Former Cabinet Secretary Melvin Matibag remained as the group’s secretary general, while House Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (Pampanga, 3rd District) was elected treasurer and Sen. Christopher Go retained his position as auditor.

The national assembly held by the Duterte faction of PDP-Laban did not go without protests from the other group chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, with that faction denouncing the gathering of what they believed to be “usurpers” of the party established to counter the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

“We vow to fight against the usurpers to protect our 40-year-old party,” said Ron Munsayac, the Pimentel faction’s executive director, on Twitter. “During the course of the Party's 40 year existence, it has surpassed countless challenges and battled multiple oppressors. We are steadfast in our stand to fight for our party's principles, no matter where it takes us.”

The Commission on Elections ruled in May that the legitimate PDP-Laban is the one chaired by Duterte, but this is still under appeal at the poll body.

Duterte, who presided over the election of the new set of officers of his PDP-Laban faction, urged members of his group to give their “full support”  to the administration of Marcos Sr.’s son and namesake, whom he once called a “weak leader.”

“We are not putting up a strong party against the party of the president. We are not going to quarrel. Far from it. We will be giving our full support for him politically,” Duterte said. “But the president can be very sure that in the coming days, we will fiscalize. If we see something wrong, we will raise our voice.”

PDP-LABAN

RODRIGO DUTERTE

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