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Cebu News

Rama is VP for Visayas of ruling party PDP-Laban

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has added another item to his otherwise jam-packed calendar: being elected vice president for Visayas of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban).

He was elected during the group’s national assembly in Pasay City on Thursday, September 29, 2022. The gathering also served as celebration for the party’s 40th anniversary with the theme, “40 Years of Enlightened Nationalism.”

Elected president was Palawan Second District Rep. Jose Alvarez, succeeding former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Senator Robin Padilla, on the other hand, was elected Executive Vice President, Parañaque City First District Rep. Edwin Olivarez was elected vice president for NCR, Senator Francis Tolentino was elected vice president for Luzon, and Senator Ronald Dela Rosa was elected vice president for Mindanao.

Former Cabinet Secretary Melvin Matibag retains his position as Secretary General.

On the other hand, House Deputy Speaker Aurelio Dueñas, Gonzales Jr. of the Third District of Pampanga was elected Treasurer while Senator Christopher Lawrence Go remains as party auditor.

For the group’s committees, former energy undersecretary Astra Pimentel now heads the membership committee while lawyer Richard Nethercott leads the legal affairs and arbitration committee. Former interior undersecretary Jonathan Malaya chairs the public information committee, Masbate Governor Antonio Kho heads the finance committee, San Juan City Rep. Ysabel Zamora heads the youth affairs committee, Rianne Cuevas leads the livelihood committee, and lawyer Yvette Cutaran Contacto chairs the education committee.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte, the party’s chairman, presided over the election. He said PDP Laban will support President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. but will also fiscalize.

“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. But the president can be very sure that in the coming days, we will fiscalize. ‘Pag may nakita tayong masama, we will raise our voice, because that is the essence of our presence here,” Duterte said in a speech.

In his acceptance speech as party president, Alvarez said he will do his best to consolidate and reorganize the party nationwide. “Iikot po tayo nationwide para palakasin ang lahat ng ating chapters sa ibat-ibang probinsiya,” he said.

According to the PDP Laban Constitution, the voting Members of the National Assembly include the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, National Officers, Presidents and Secretaries General of all Regional Council, National Committee Chairpersons, Cabinet Members, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Governors, HUC and ICC Mayors, and Chapters in good standing.

PDP Laban’s pages recall that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) last May recognized former President Duterte’s PDP Laban over the faction led by Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III. In a resolution, the COMELEC said that former President Duterte’s PDP Laban has the "true and official members" of the party.

"Considering that Chairman Duterte’s chairmanship is an undisputed and well-settled fact in the aforementioned dates, it is also undisputed that Chairman Duterte’s acts on even dates are valid and effective. The fact that he presided over the election of the new sets of party officers and committee chairpersons validates the entire process," the COMELEC said.

The COMELEC also declared PDP Laban as the dominant majority party in the May elections.

Last July, Rama was also elected as the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

The league is gearing up for the second LCP Convergence Meeting in November 2022, which will be hosted by the city of Taguig headed by Mayor Lani Cayetano. The first LCP convergence took place in Cebu City last August.  – JMO (FREEMAN)

MICHAEL RAMA

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