PDP-Laban factions lock horns as Cusi-led group endorses Marcos Jr.

·2 min read
Warring PDP-Laban factions led by Senator Aquilino
Warring PDP-Laban factions led by Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III (left) and Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. (Photos: Piementel – AP Photo/Bullit Marquez; Cusi – JAY DIRECTO/AFP via Getty Images)

PDP-Laban chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III called the Alfonso Cusi-led faction “strangers to PDP-Laban” as the latter endorsed dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., turning back on its historical role in the anti-dictatorship struggle.

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

PDP-Laban started in a February 1983 merger between two groups – Aquilino Pimentel Jr.’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas and Ninoy Aquino’s Lakas ng Bayan – both of which played a role in the 1986 People Power Uprising.

“In Germany for example, a political party formed to oppose Adolf Hitler will definitely not support an Adolf Hitler Jr. Logic lang yan (It’s only logical.) Consistent with the PDP-Laban history, struggles, deaths, and party constitution!” Pimentel III added.

Marcos endorsement

The Cusi-led PDP-Laban endorsed Marcos Jr.’s candidacy on Tuesday (March 22), saying that Marcos Jr.’s platform was “consistent with President Rodrigo Duterte’s current programs and projects.” They have previously said that their support would be for someone who will support Duterte’s programs.

This is also the narrative being perpetuated by Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), a network owned by United States fugitive Apollo Quiboloy – Duterte’s religious advisor. They urged voters to elect someone who would “continue the programs of the administration.”

Other reasons why Cusi’s PDP-Laban is endorsing Marcos Jr. include his supposed platforms on “combating corruption, alleviating poverty, strengthening peace and orders, ending the pandemic, fighting against terrorism and communism, revitalizing the economy, strengthening defense and foreign affairs, providing jobs and livelihood, strengthening education, government decentralization, and forwarding charter change and federalism.”

However, it appears that Marcos has yet to elaborate on his platforms, after being absent from several presidential debates organized by credible news outlets, leading to criticism by some voters and no less his competitors to the presidency.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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