Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has been kicked out of the PDP-Laban for supporting the presidential run of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is not even a member of the ruling party, a resolution signed by party president Senator Manny Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, currently in the United States training for a boxing match in August, plans to run for president in next year’s election.
“Vice Chairman Cusi is already manipulating the party to support the Duterte-Duterte tandem, which is a blatant admission of supporting (Davao City Mayor) Sara Duterte-Carpio for president, who is not a member of the party. He is guilty of having allegiance to a candidate and her political ideals and party,” reads Resolution No. 6 issued on June 12, 2021.
The name of Duterte-Morales, presidential daughter, is being floated as a possible standard-bearer for President Duterte in case he decides to join the vice presidential race.
Resolution No. 6 also noted that the Davao mayor does not even believe in federalism, a key party platform.
“Her party fielded candidates against and opposed official candidates of PDP-Laban in the 2019 Elections. And she is vehemently opposed to joining the PDP-Laban Party,” Resolution No. 6 also stated.
Also expelled from PDP-Laban based on the same resolution were Deputy Secretary General Melvin Matibag and Membership Committee Head Astra Naik.
The three were booted out of the PDP-Laban for violations of the party constitution by “showing allegiance to a political party apart from PDP Laban.”
Under the party’s Resolution No. 6, the National Executive Committee (NEC) formally removed Cusi, Matibag and Naik from the party for violation of Article VII Section 6 of the party constitution, which specifically prohibits members from maintaining any allegiance to another political party.
With their expulsion, “all rights and privileges of Cusi, Matibag and Naik as members of the Party and all their positions or authorities in the party are likewise immediately terminated.”
Party members were directed to cease and desist from following, supporting or giving legitimacy to any directive, resolution, notices, communications or actions by the three expelled officers.
Cusi and Matibag questioned Pacquiao’s authority to expel them.
“Senator Pacquiao demeans himself by resorting to underhanded tactics,” Cusi said. “Whoever advises him clearly does not care about him and his reputation. I pity Senator Pacquiao. He is clearly misguided.”
“The PDP Laban activities on July 16 and 17 will push through as scheduled and as confirmed by our party chairman,” he added, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte. “See you then.”
Matibag added: “I don’t want to give credence to their actions. They don’t have any authority to discipline national officers. It is just a way for them to hype their status in the media. We will just see them in the National Council and National Assembly. These two are the highest governing bodies of the PDP-Laban. The committee of Senator Manny Pacquiao is irrelevant. The July 17 National Assembly will be the day of their reckoning. We encourage them to challenge the actions of the National Assembly. Legally speaking, they do not have any fighting chance.”
A separate resolution also issued by the NEC authorized Pacquiao to create committees to investigate complaints about party members who may have violated the party constitution or may have committed acts inimical to the party by showing allegiance to another party.
Another resolution was issued to declare the nullity of the March 31, 2021 meeting and the scheduled July 17, 2021 assembly of the PDP Laban National Council that was called by Cusi and Matibag.
The three resolutions were issued in response by the NEC to a manifesto signed by more than 10,000 grassroots members of the PDP-Laban which condemned “this systematic and underhanded effort by some party newcomers and a handful of party officers to sabotage the present leadership, so they may advance a political movement that is against the best interest of our beloved party.”