"Pacquiao and Pimentel underestimated President Duterte's influence."
It’s a shame that Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao ended up deposed as president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) along with Sen. Koko Pimentel, executive vice chairperson, and 14 other party mates in top positions.
During a PDP-Laban national assembly in Clark, Pampanga last Saturday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi was elected the PDP-Laban president, precisely whom Pacquiao wanted to expel from the party.
The Pambansang Kamao and Pimentel had to learn their lesson the hard way after underestimating President Duterte’s influence over party members and his leadership capability.
The two PDP-Laban stalwarts obviously dismissed Manong Digong as a lameduck President, awaiting his last day in Malacañang. They even belittled the President’s war against government corruption.
Pacquiao, a presidential aspirant, contradicted Cusi’s moves to push the President to run for vice-president with Presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, currently Davao City mayor, as possible standard-bearer.
Pacman’s faction insists the administration standard-bearer must be a member of the ruling party, which Inday Sara is not. She heads the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Mindanao regional political coalition.
The fighting senator also could not bear the fact that Inday Sara has consistently topped major surveys on presidentiables even as she reconsiders running in the May 9, 2022 polls after rejecting the growing clamor for her to do so.
Manong Digong himself has likewise repeatedly dissuaded Inday Sara from vying for the presidency so she could spare herself of all the brouhaha of national politics, such as what he is experiencing with supposedly close allies.
And yet, Pacquiao and Pimentel threatened party members of sanctions or expulsion if they supported any resolution or attended any “unauthorized” assemblies organized by Cusi and Duterte followers in the party co-founded by the late Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
PDP-Laban said Pacquiao was aware of a “coup plot” in the offing before he left for Las Vegas to train and promote his mega bout with undefeated welterweight champ Errol Spence.
But the international boxing icon-turned politician violated boxing’s golden rule that one should never ever underestimate his opponent.
The future world boxing hall-of-famer must realize now he is up against a political heavyweight, and might as well focus on his upcoming fight with Spence.
Still, the People’ Champ has the full support of Manong Digong and the 110 million Filipinos in his fight versus the American juggernaut.
Meanwhile, the fragmented opposition blasted the President for flip-flopping about his possible vice-presidential candidacy to avoid prosecution for alleged massive human rights violations, Manong Digong admitted “that is in fact the case.”
Aren’t those outlandish and outrageous pronouncements which critics and detractors exactly wanted to hear from the outgoing “lameduck President”?
But look who’s laughing now.