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Koko replaces Duterte as PDP Laban chairman, but Cusi faction shrugs off ‘comedy’

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THE strife-ridden PDP Laban was in the news again on Sunday, amid reports that the Manny Pacquiao faction of the party had “ousted” President Duterte as the party chairman, replacing him with Sen. Koko Pimentel.

Pimentel, son of party cofounder the late Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., explained, however that the National Council simply met to elect new people to fill in key positions: those of chairman and vice chairman must be chosen every two years.

“My partymate members of the National Council just elected me as the chairman of the PDP-Laban National Council. And former Eastern Samar Governor Lutz [Lutgardo] Barbo as the vice chairman.”

Asked what happens to Duterte’s status as party member, Pimentel said, “We just elected those two officers of the national council. We did not decide on the status of the membership in the party of anyone. The election is part of organizing the council so it can conduct its business.”

The other faction, identified with Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, however, described the development as a “comedy.”

The Cusi faction added, “Sen. Koko Pimentel has no position in the PDP Laban. He is irrelevant and he does not represent the party. His group are pretenders and are attention seekers.”

Duterte, added the Cusi faction, “is the PDP Laban party chairman. He remains to be so and will continue to be so.”

The Commission on Elections will have to resolve the conflict in the PDP Laban soon, since both factions are listing their own sets of officers, and  are expected to field their candidates once the period for filing certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections comes around in early October.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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