SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III played down on Sunday moves to expel Senator Manny Pacquiao from the ruling PDP Laban Party for filing his candidacy under the Promdi party, one of two parties with which the PDP-Laban has formed an alliance.

       “So easy to explain,” said Pimentel III, noting that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Melvin Matibag, both of the “Cusi wing,” do not know the facts.  

       The senator pointed out that “there is a PDP-Laban, Promdi, PCM Alliance Agreement called ‘MP3 Alliance’ where the alliance partners also proclaimed Manny Pacquiao as their presidential candidate.”

       He added that the  PDP Laban National Executive Committee earlier issued Resolution No. 12 allowing Pacquiao to “use Promdi CONA (certification of nomination and acceptance) in order to consolidate his support base in alliance partners” because Pacquiao is already known and identified with PDP Laban.

        Moreover, Pimentel III recalled that Pacquiao was officially nominated and proclaimed as a presidential candidate also by Promdi in their national assembly.       

“Hence, everything is normal and in order per our party constitution,” said the senator, a Bar topnotcher who wrote the PDP Laban constitution, and whose father and namesake, the late Senate president, was a co-founder of the party.

 Pimentel said “the issue being propagated by Cusi and Matibag is a figment of their imagination which they want to use for their own political propaganda.”

‘Pacquiao expelled’

Senator Pimentel III issued the clarification after the Cusi wing claimed in a statement over the weekend that Pacquiao was automatically expelled from PDP Laban for filing his certificate of candidacy (COC)  under PROMDI.

“The PDP Laban of President Duterte announced that Sen. Pacquiao has been automatically expelled” from the party for filing his COC under a different party.

PDP Laban Secretary-General Melvin Matibag said that under Section 6, Article VII of the party Constitution, the filing by a member of a COC under another political party is a ground for automatic expulsion from PDP Laban.

Pacquiao, along with his running mate Deputy Speaker and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, were the first to file COCs for the top two positions when the Comelec opened the process on October 1.

“The PDP Laban National Executive Committee met October 1 and a resolution was approved automatically expelling Senator Pacquaio from PDP Laban in accordance with the party constitution,” he said.

“Senator Pacquiao claims that he is the legitimate President of PDP Laban and even called his own National Assembly where he accepted their so-called proclamation as presidential candidate and yet he is running for president under PROMDI. Let’s call a spade a spade. If that is not disloyalty, betrayal, and abandonment of PDP Laban, I don’t know what is,” said Matibag.

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