By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — In the coming days, Senator Emmanuel “Manny’ Pacquiao, currently president of the ruling PDP-Laban would be ousted from the party since there are factions among its members loyal to President Duterte and to the lawmaker himself, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.
In an excerpt from the Kapihan sa Manila Bay, Drilon said that talking about politics, today’s deadline would carry the conflict between Sen. Pacquiao and the President and the PDP-Laban.
He said that it is not very often that you hear the family of the founder of PDP-Laban, the later Sen. (Aquilino) Pimentel saying the PDP-Laban will implode.
“I am not surprised at this statement because, as we talk, there is already a PDP-Laban 1 and PDP-Laban 2. PDP-Laban 1, I’d like to think, is the original PDP-Laban formed by my good friend, the late Sen. Nene Pimentel,” Drilon said.
The other, he added, is headed by Sec. Cusi.
“I would not be surprised if Sen. Pacquiao wakes up one morning in July and he is no longer the president or the acting president of PDP-Laban,” Drilon said.
The minority leader said that this development will have serious implications in the 2022 elections.
“The ruling party will be split, which reminds me, when President Cory endorsed Pres. Ramos as against Speaker Mitra. That split, that’s not a very correct description, the party in power. Iisa lang ang naiwan sa amin noon ni Pres. Cory, si Dodo Cagas,” he said.
“Here we see history is being repeated. The party in power is being split into two. How this would affect the 2022 election would be a matter that will be discussed in coffee shops and in the media in the next several weeks,” Drilon added.
“I expect Sen. Pacquiao to be removed as party president. The signal is that the President told Sec. Cusi to go ahead and convene the party in Cebu last month,” he stressed.
With this, Drilon said that the split and ouster of Pacquiao from PDP-Laban would have implications to the Liberal Party, but it will not harm it.
“Certainly, it will not harm the LP. But it takes a lot of work for us to be able to take advantage of it. Firstly, the opposition must have only one candidate. Once there is a consensus as to who the principal player will be in the opposition, then it will be the role of whoever will be anointed to try to consolidate the ranks of the opposition,” Drilon surmised.
“It will not harm the opposition to have the split…Kapag nahati ang administrasyon, given all the resources, given the troll farms, given the resources that they have, certainly, a split will help the opposition,” he added. (AI/MTVN)