PDP-Laban distancing from Duterte’s tirades vs Marcos

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
PDP-Laban distancing from Duterte�s tirades vs Marcos
This combination photo shows former President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Presidential Communications / Toto Lozano | Bongbong Marcos / Release

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers belonging to the former ruling party PDP-Laban have distanced themselves from their party chairman, former president Rodrigo Duterte, refusing to join him in his repeated tirades against President Marcos.

“Our party chairman, being a former president, can say anything he wants. But we in the party hierarchy, we are consolidators, we are peacemakers, we are at the forefront for peace and prosperity of the nation,” said party president Rep. Jose Alvarez.

“So, therefore, whatever rhetoric he has, please don’t involve us,” the Palawan congressman said.

At a press conference in Cebu over the weekend, Alvarez said they will not toe Duterte’s line as they are not under any obligation to echo or support the former president’s sentiments or gripes against Marcos.

The political party held its 42nd anniversary last April 19 in Cebu, where its national council conducted its meeting.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, who hosted a party gathering on April 19, said he supports Alvarez’s statement.

Sen. Francis Tolentino associated himself with Rama and Alvarez’s statements.

Alvarez maintained that Duterte’s statements are not the party’s stance.

The party was in Cebu for a fellowship, he noted.

“One primary reason why we are here is for the fellowship of PDP to greet one another coming from the different islands in the Visayas and some coming from Luzon and Mindanao, so we should not associate this meeting with a background that we are in a combative mood (because) we are not,” he said.

?PDP rebranding

Almost two years after its victory over internal conflicts, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan and its leaders, including Duterte, have opted to drop the word Laban.

Tolentino justified the rebranding as an “evolutionary process of a shift in ideology” as the word “Laban” connotes confrontation or opposition.

“The rebranding would probably be directed to moderate voters or Filipinos who don’t all want the fight for 42 years. You can’t fight for 42 years,” Tolentino said in an interview over ANC.

In a statement, PDP said it would form a senatorial lineup for the 2025 polls. It includes incumbent Senators Bong Go, Ronald dela Rosa, Tolentino and actor Philip Salvador.

During its April 19 National Council Meeting in Cebu, Duterte said the party hopes to form a complete slate for the 2025 polls.

“We want to come up with a ticket that is equally representative of all regions. And we will work on it. I hope we can have a slate that is complete,” he said.

Go said PDP will continue its fight to improve the lives of Filipinos.

Dela Rosa said that he and fellow senators Go, Tolentino and Robin Padilla will remain united.

“We are being considered as the swing vote (in the Senate), as far as decision-making in the Senate is concerned. They are watching us. They know we are united,” Dela Rosa said.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III yesterday inquired why they did not just form their own political party from the beginning.

Pimentel, son and namesake of PDP-Laban founder late senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., said he is saddened that some people had to fight over the party which they would change eventually.

“It’s sad that we fought over the party and now their plan is to change the name, change the symbolisms, even if you take the oath with the left hand, they will make it the right hand, even your party’s handshake using the left hand. I’m sure it will be changed – they have that too,” the senator said.

“My only feeling is that if they want another party, because they changed everything, why don’t they just form their own party, that’s not illegal. No one will get hurt, no opposition,” he added. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

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