Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Tuesday slammed the decision of the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi to support the presidential candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., saying this only proves that they are “total strangers” to the party.
In a Viber message to reporters, Pimentel, whose father, the late Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr., is among PDP-Laban's founders, said the party was established to fight the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Bongbong Marcos' late father.
“With this latest action from Sec. Cusi and his cohorts, they have manifested that they are total strangers to PDP LABAN. They don’t even acknowledge that PDP LABAN was established to oppose the Marcos dictatorship,” Pimentel said.
“In Germany for example, a political party formed to oppose Adolf Hitler will definitely not support an Adolf Hitler Jr. Logic lang yan. Consistent with the PDP LABAN history and party constitution!” he added.
Two factions of the PDP-Laban are vying for recognition before the Commission on Elections — that of Cusi and President Rodrigo Duterte, and the other of Pimentel and presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao.
In the same statement, Pimentel urged the Comelec to dismiss the petition earlier filed by Cusi’s group, whom he tagged as “usurpers.”
In 2021, the Cusi-led wing asked the poll body to declare Pimentel and Pacquiao as illegal representatives of the party.
The PDP-Laban has no candidates for president and vice president in the 2022 elections after the infighting between the two factions.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte's longtime aide, initially filed his candidacy for vice president under PDP-Laban, while Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a staunch Duterte ally, originally filed his candidacy for president under the ruling party.
Go, however, withdrew his bid after presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte filed her candidacy for vice president. Dela Rosa, meanwhile, withdrew his candidacy.
Go filed a COC for president as a substitute under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a party allied with the PDP-Laban. He also withdrew his presidential bid later on.
Apart from Marcos Jr., Cusi’s group is also endorsing the vice presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the President's daughter. —KBK, GMA News