Senator Manny Pacquiao is no longer the president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
This, as Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was earlier expelled from PDP-Laban by a faction allegedly allied with Pacquiao, was elected on Saturday as the new president of the ruling party with a two-year term.
Also, President Rodrigo Duterte remains the party’s chairman although that position was not declared vacant prior to the election of the new set of officials of PDP-Laban.
Cusi’s election came after PDP-Laban declared 16 positions vacant during its assembly in Pampanga on Saturday. He was expelled along with Melvin Matibag and Astra Naik from the PDP-Laban by a faction within the party allegedly loyal to Pacquiao last month.
The expulsion of the three was reversed on Friday by the PDP-Laban national council.
“I move to declare that illegal resolution and ultra vires action of some members of PDP-Laban expelling Secretary Cusi, Atty Melvin Matibag and Usec. Astra Naik, that they are considered to be void,” PDP-Laban vice president for external affairs Raul Lambino said earlier.
Meanwhile, Matibag, the PDP-Laban secretary general, said Pacquiao was not ousted as the senator was finishing the term of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd and was a holdover.
Cusi’s election as PDP-Laban president comes amid his worsening rift with Duterte, who is obviously angry at the senator’s allegations of worsening corruption in the current administration. The President also challenged Pacquiao to prove his corruption allegations and attend the Congressional sessions for that, which is impossible as Pacquiao is currently in the United States preparing for his world welterweight world championship against undefeated Errol Spence this August 22.