Duterte’s PDP-Laban faction endorses Marcos Jr.

A faction of PDP-Laban, a party founded to fight the Marcos dictatorship, supported the presidential bid of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – The faction of ruling party PDP-Laban led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has endorsed the candidacy of dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

On Monday, March 21, PDP-Laban signed a resolution endorsing Marcos’ bid, after he received the “most endorsements from several local councils.”

The Cusi camp officially announced it on Tuesday, March 22.

“Senator Bongbong Marcos is the candidate whose platform is most aligned with the development program of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte…. He is the candidate whose vision of governance is the most aligned with PDP-Laban’s 11-point agenda,” the resolution read.

The Cusi faction is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte was not among those who signed the resolution. Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, the party vice president for the Visayas who is backing the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, also did not sign the resolution.

It is still unclear if the President would also endorse Marcos Jr. though he has been teasing the public about whose candidacy he would be backing.

Back in November 2021, Duterte had even belittled Marcos Jr. as “spoiled” and a “weak leader,” citing this as the reason why he didn’t want PDP-Laban to link arms with Lakas-CMD, which is backing the tandem of Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. PDP-Laban endorsed the presidential daughter’s vice presidential candidacy in December 2021.

On Tuesday, the Marcos camp thanked PDP-Laban “for joining the bandwagon.”

‘Total strangers to PDP-Laban’

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, son of PDP-Laban founder Nene Pimentel, said that the move of Cusi’s camp clearly showed that the latter are “total strangers” to the party.

PDP-Laban was founded in the early 1980s to fight the Marcos dictatorship.

“With this latest action from Sec. Cusi and his cohorts, they have manifested that they are total strangers to PDP-Laban. They don’t even acknowledge that PDP-Laban was established to oppose the Marcos dictatorship,” Pimentel said.

“Time for Comelec to dismiss the petition of these usurpers!” he added.

Pimentel further illustrated the disconnect between the Cusi camp’s endorsement of Marcos Jr. and the PDP-Laban principles.

“In Germany for example, a political party formed to oppose Adolf Hitler will definitely not support an Adolf Hitler Jr. That is simply the logic. Consistent with the PD- Laban history and party constitution!” Pimntel said.

Duterte’s party PDP-Laban is divided into two factions – one led by Cusi and another led by presidential Senator Manny Pacquiao – as part of the power struggles within the party ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. Pimentel chairs the Pacquiao faction, calling themselves “the originals.”

The infighting within the party started in 2018, ahead of the senatorial elections, when Cusi’s group wanted to support political candidates that the “original” PDP-Laban did not support. The war between the two factions escalated when Duterte ordered Cusi to hold a meeting in Cebu City.

In 2021, the Cusi camp initially endorsed Senator Bong Go’s presidential bid, but the former presidential aide later, withdrew his candidacy at the President’s behest.

The Commission on Elections has yet to decide on which camp is the legitimate PDP-Laban. – Rappler.com

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