President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan, directed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, vice chairman of the party, to "organize, convene and preside" over the party's council meeting, Malacañang said on Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said this in a statement after Cusi pushed for a national council assembly despite calls from a "minority" of party mates to ignore the event.
"This move, which is part of the democratic exercise, aims to consult party members and have fruitful and productive exchanges on issues affecting PDP-Laban," Roque said.
In a memorandum issued on May 25, Senator Manny Pacquiao advised those who received Cusi’s invitation to attend the national assembly to be held on May 31, to ignore the letter because it breaches the party’s Constitution.
The lawmaker said the Cusi's invite was not sanctioned by the Authorized National Council officials and violated Sections 4 and 5, Article XVI of the PDP-Laban’s Constitution.
But Cusi said the national council meeting is an “important political process” where PDP-Laban members should be encouraged as a “consultative and participatory democracy” is part of the basic tenets of the party. — DVM, GMA News