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Duterte-chaired PDP-Laban elects Rep. Alvarez as new president

The PDP-Laban chaired by former President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday elected Palawan Representative Jose Alvarez as its new president, replacing former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

This happened during the PDP-Laban's 40th anniversary and National Assembly that was personally graced by Duterte, the party's chairman.

Alvarez, who was nominated by Cusi, won the position without contest.

"I promise that I will do my best to consolidate, move forward, to answer the needs of our party-mates to equip our members for future political exercise. I will also do my best to keep our party relevant," Alvarez said.

Duterte, in response, said, "Good luck and thank you for accepting [the post]."

Among other PDP-Laban officials elected during the event included:

  • Senator Francis Tolentino as Vice President for Luzon
  • Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama as Vice President for Visayas
  • Senator Ronald dela Rosa as Vice President for Mindanao
  • Lawyer Melvin Matibag as Secretary General
  • Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales as Treasurer
  • Senator Bong Go as Auditor

Prior to the election of new officials, PDP-Laban members took oath and vowed to commit to "a peaceful and democratic way of life to ensure that establishment and maintenance of a Filipino society characterized by freedom, solidarity, justice, equity, social responsibility, self-reliance, efficiency, enlightened nationalism under a federal system of government."

Among PDP-Laban members who were physically present during the election were San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, former Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, Representatives Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur and Richard Gomez of Leyte.

During the 2022 elections, PDP-Laban backed the presidential and vice presidential bids of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and then Davao City mayor Sara Duterte, respectively.

Months before the May 2022 elections, the PDP-Laban was split into two factions, one led by Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and one by Cusi.

The Commission on Elections eventually recognized Cusi's wing as the "true and official members" of PDP-Laban.

Pimentel's faction appealed the poll body's decision. 

In a separate statement on Thursday, Pimentel dismissed the leadership election conducted by Duterte's group as a farce.

"The original PDP-Laban does not recognize any unauthorized election. We have our own set of party officers," Pimentel said.

Senator Pimentel is the son of the late Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr., one of the founders of the PDP-Laban, which was established in 1982. —KBK/VBL, GMA News