The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) “will obviously struggle” to maintain its strength after the death of its founding chair Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
“Boss Danding is irreplaceable,” Sotto told reporters.
“We will obviously struggle to keep our party strong and steady because of the loss of our Chairman Emeritus,” said Sotto, the NPC member now holding the highest elected post.
Cojuangco was a tycoon who wielded influence in politics, business and sports.
He died earlier this week after his bout with lung cancer.
It will be “very difficult” for the NPC to find Cojuangco’s successor as the late chairman emeritus is “a very strong figure inside the party,” Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said.
Cojuangco was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the party but continued to wield influence over its members, said Gatchalian who has been with the NPC since his foray into politics in 2001.
“NPC is a very unique party, if you look at other parties, kung sino nakaupo dadami (who is in power, his party gets more members) [but] NPC maintains its numbers kahit sino nakaupo (whoever is in power). Itong mga members ay loyal sa party (the members are loyal to the party) and also to Boss Danding,” he said.
“Over the years, marami na siyang experience so he gets a lot of respect from the members and the members also respect his views and wisdom,” he said.
Based on the NPC’s tradition, decisions “are made by a Council of Elders” and then relegated to members, Gatchalian said.
“Ngayong wala na si Boss Danding (Now that boss Danding is gone), that Council will function more actively,” he said.
He cited that the “2022 elections is just around the corner.”
“One of the biggest decisions of the party is who to choose for elections,” he said.
The NPC “will meet soon to discuss the party’s future,” Sotto said.
Aside from Sotto and Gatchalian, the NPC also has Sen. Lito Lapid and at least 32 representatives in the House as members.
A well-recognized Filipino business tycoon, Danding Cojuangco spent most of his life being an entrepreneur, said Sen. Richard Gordon.
Being the Chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corporation, he became an influence in Philippine business. Instead of investing abroad, he put his money here in the country that’s why his companies have helped provide jobs to many Filipinos, he said.
“He is a good man and his love and enthusiasm to sports also greatly contributed to Philippine basketball and the Philippine sports as a whole. I am certainly honored and glad that I knew Danding. Kate and I not only extend our deepest sympathies to his family, but join them in their grief and sorrow,” said Gordon./Stacy Ang