By Junex Doronio
September 19, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – The die is cast with the acceptance of Senator Manny Pacquiao of his “multiple nominations” on Sunday as the presidential candidate of one faction of PDP-Laban led by the world boxing icon and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III during its national assembly.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of a strong nation,” paraphrasing Psalm 89:14 of the Christian Bible, Pacquiao quipped after he accepted the nomination of his party mates.
He pointed out that as one who personally experienced the hardships in life, it is now “time for the oppressed to win.”
“Sa buong buhay ko, wala akong laban na inaatrasan,” Pacquiao stressed.
Mincing no words, at the opening of their national assembly Pimentel also tagged the other faction led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi “suwapang” (greedy). He vowed not to allow the Duterte-Cusi wing to hijack the party.
“Malaki ang posibilidad na mananalo tayo sa darating na halalan. Ang tunay na PDP-Laban ang magpapatakbo ng gating gobyerno,” Pimentel said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is poised to resolve which faction is the legitimate PDP-Laban.
It can be recalled that the Duterte-Cusi faction earlier asked the Comelec to declare as illegitimate the Pacquiao-Pimentel wing of the party.
In response to the petition filed by Cusi’s camp, the Pacquiao wing maintained that its group is the “real one” and composed of original members who come from the grassroots members and senior leaders of the party. (ai/mtvn)