Saying he only wants to be associated with people he can trust, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the national chairman of the Pacquiao faction in the PDP-Laban, rejected possible unity talks with their rival faction led by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi.
In an interview over CNN Philippines, Pimentel said he is not interested anymore to talk with the Cusi camp to settle their rift over several issues within the ruling party.
“Anyway, being in a political party is an exercise of your right to association,” said Pimentel.
The Cusi faction, which is backed by President Rosrigo Duterte as its chairperson, earlier expelled Sen. Manny Pacquiao from the party after he filed his certificate of candidacy for president under his Promdi political party.
But Pimentel said Pacquiao’s COC filing under Promdi is “normal” and “in order” under the party’s constitution.
“It’s so easy to explain. Cusi and Matibag do not know the facts.
There is a PDP-Laban, Promdi, PCM alliance agreement called ‘MP3 Alliance’ where the alliance partners also proclaimed Sen. Pacquiao as their presidential candidate,” Pimentel said.
He said the PDP-Laban National Executive Committee, in Resolution No. 12, allowed Pacquiao to use the Promdi certificate of nomination and acceptance to consolidate his support base and alliance partners.
“He was officially nominated and proclaimed as presidential candidate also by PROMDI in its National Assembly. Hence, everything is normal and in order per our party constitution,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel, son of the founder of PDP-Laban, Aquilino Jr., also appealed to those who are illegitimately claiming the name “PDP-Laban.”
“Why don’t you just form your own group, invent your own name instead of hijacking an existing political party?” he said.