MANILA, Philippines --- Leaders of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) are in a quandary on how to resolve the dispute between political rivals, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and make them run under the same banner in next year's midterm election.
Pimentel has publicly made known his displeasure to run with the Zubiri under the same lineup "as a matter of principle."
Pimentel had accused Zubiri as the beneficiary of the alleged fraud committed by the Arroyo administration during the 2007 senatorial election.
Zubiri relinquished the 12th senatorial spot last year to Pimentel after witnesses to the alleged election fraud attested to the controversy.
PDP-Laban Executive Vice President Jose "Joey" De Venecia III confirmed that Pimentel's conflict with Zubiri is far from being settled.
"There will have to be some resolution," he said in an interview last Friday following the oath-taking of PDP-Laban's newest members, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia.
Zubiri earlier joined former President Joseph Estrada's Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) which has formed a coalition with PDP-Laban--the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The development paved the way for the nomination of Zubiri by PMP to be part of UNA's senatorial slate that already includes the reelectionist Pimentel.
Even Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, PDP-Laban's chairman, had stepped into the picture and vowed to resolve the issue.