The PDP-Laban's intra-union dispute and the Katipunan split

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The raging intramurals between the so-called Cusi-Duterte faction of the PDP-Laban and the mainstream Pimentel-Pacquiao originals could be compared to the schism between the original Katipuneros, led by Andres Bonifacio of the Magdiwang faction and Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo of the Magdalo faction. The Magdalos controlled the Tejeros Convention held in Cavite, and Bonifacio, the founder, was ousted by their superior forces. The Magdiwangs were outnumbered, outwitted, outflanked, and outsmarted. Was the recent convention of PDP-Laban some sort of historical deja vu?

PDP-Laban resulted from the 1983 merger of PDP, founded by Nene Pimentel, and Laban founded by Ninoy Aquino. PDP was formed in Cebu in 1982. Laban was organized by Ninoy in 1978. This was the party that coalesced with Doy Laurel's Unido in 1986, and pushed for the entry of Cory to challenge Marcos in 1986. In 2016, then Davao Mayor Digong had no party. It was Coco Pimentel of PDP-Laban, who adopted Duterte and carried him to victory, abandoning Jojo Binay who was a party original. The rest is history. What happened to Coco is karma, if you ask Binay. When Mayor Digong won, hundreds of “balimbings”, many of them congressmen, governors, and mayors, jumped on the PDP-Laban bandwagon. Now the new riders have decided to oust the originals. Shades of the Tejeros Convention. The Magdiwangs tilled the soil and planted the seeds. The Magdalos harvested all the fruits and ate them alone.

The Katipunan, originally called La Liga Filipina, was organized on July 7, 1892 by Bonifacio, Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Ladislao Diwa, Jose Dizon, and Teodoro Plata. Aguinaldo, and his people from Cavite, went to Manila, applied for membership, and were admitted. From 1892 to 1893, the supremo was Arellano, followed by Roman Basa from 1893 to 1895. In 1895, Bonifacio assumed leadership. Aguinaldo was never a part of the Katipunan leadership. How did the Magdalos grab power? They held the Tejeros Convention in their own home territory. The declared agenda was to plan how to execute the revolution. But actually, it was really a surprise election for the leadership. Bonifacio attended it innocently with his two brothers and his wife Gregoria “Ka Oriang” de Jesus.

There were three candidates for president; Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, and surprise nominee Mariano Trias. That was obviously a Machiavellian tactic to divide and conquer Bonifacio's delegation. The results of the voting among 256 delegates were Aguinaldo, 146; Bonifacio, 80; and Trias, 30. Bonifacio was nominated for vice president, but lost to Trias. He was again nominated for captain general of the army, but was defeated by Artemio Ricarte. He was nominated for secretary of war, but Emiliano Riego Diego de Dios won. He was nominated as interior secretary, and won. But Daniel Tirona, a Magdalo, stood up and objected because Bonifacio was not a lawyer. Bonifacio was greatly embarrassed and was about to shoot Tirona but was stopped. In anger, he declared the convention and all its proceedings null and void, and walked out with his loyal supporters. That was why he was charged and found guilty of treason and executed in Cavite with his two brothers. His wife was ravished.

The current squabbles in PDP-Laban is a power struggle between the original members and the intruders. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque loves to say that this party was just a small jeepney when then Mayor Duterte joined it. Now it’s a big bus and needs a new driver. Well, changing drivers may be imperative, but is it necessary to kick out the originals? I remember that the Nacionalista Party convened in 1965 to choose its standard bearer to challenge incumbent Diosdado Macapagal of LP. There were three contenders; Fernando Lopez, the richest financier of the party and former vice president of Elpidio Quirino, Emmanuel Pelaez the incumbent vice president, and Ferdinand Marcos the Senate president and LP turncoat. Marcos convinced Lopez to withdraw and join forces with him. Together, they defeated Pelaez, who was a brilliant Bar topnotcher, who could have been the first Mindanaoan president. But Marcos won and ruled over us from 1966 to 1986.

So, those who never learn from the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them. PDP-Laban is the new Katipunan and Pacquiao is the new Bonifacio. He will be “slain” not by the enemy but by his friends. Like Julius Caesar, he will be stabbed in the back by his good friend Brutus. Politics is the science of greed for possessions, lust for power, and treachery as the means to achieve them. I am shedding a tear for our country and people.

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