Today is a big day for the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban. On the eve of this historical watershed, officials of the Duterte administration met at the Manila Hotel purposely to strategize on this General Assembly called for by no less than the ousted Vice president of the party, Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi. Several days ago, Executive Vice president Senator Koko Pimentel ordered Cusi to vacate his post, along with Melvin Matibag, one of the party’s top officials. In response, Cusi asked the party’s chair, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, to attend this July 17 meeting deemed as “illegal” by Pimentel and the party’s President Manny Pacquiao Jr. Curiously, Speaker Lord Velasco, a PDP-Laban member, remains mum on this intra-party intramurals between the Pacquiao and Cusi factions.
The red line however has now been set and clearly defined, with President Duterte siding with Cusi, while Pimentel is clearly on the side of his embattled president, Manny Pacquiao Jr. The fighting senator even upped the ante by filing a resolution calling on the Senate to investigate the so-called 10-billion-peso missing ayuda funds.
In this fight, clearly Pacquiao is at a disadvantage. President Duterte is siding with Cusi especially on the matter of pulling PDP-Laban from its independent position to supporting the candidacy of the presidential daughter, Sara Duterte. The administration party is the only one left not joining the Hugpong coalition composed of five political parties, all of which are fronts by Big Business and oligarchs allied with the administration.
Cusi’s intention is clear— make PDP-Laban one of the members of the Hugpong coalition, a violation of party rules that say that the party may only support one of its members. Sara Duterte is not a partymate. The fact is, Hugpong even fought against PDP-Laban candidates during the 2019 elections, a fact clearly not easily forgotten by top PDP-Laban officials. The ideational contours of Hugpong were basically shaped by the Davao group of officials composed of close associates of Sara Duterte-Carpio. So, Hugpong is plainly a purely Duterte construct.
And honestly, there is simply nothing new about Hugpong. Every President creates his own political aggrupation during his term of office, like Ramos with his Lakas, Gloria with her KAMPPI and even with Aquino III with his Tuwid na Daan. Worse, the people’s monies are being used to further the nefarious interests of Big Business and illegal drug syndicates who prey upon the poor and the weak.
That explains why many of our fellow Filipinos are not exactly sure if they would support Hugpong. First, Hugpong is just there to protect the interests of the Dutertes and their political and business associates. And second—Hugpong does not offer anything new. What change are they talking about when for the last five years under the administration of her father, no substantive changes ever in our country. All the gains of the last decade had been erased completely by just one masterstroke of wrongs.
The problem is very stark— the so-called opposition are themselves already exposed as frauds and just trying to manipulate the minds of the people. Just look at the personalities behind 1Sambayan, with the exception of some church people and genuine nationalists, and you’ll agree with me that these people are just after power—they want their sinecures back not for the welfare of the Filipino people but for themselves.
And do not be misled— even Pacquiao, if he does leave PDP-Laban—is just like those people in both Hugpong and 1Sambayan— political stooges of China and people whose spines are so supple, they bend wherever the wind blows. If Pacquiao becomes president, expect us to see people mulling around him, counselling him and directing him to tread this and that direction away from the people’s welfare. Pacquiao’s story may be that of a political cinderella yet with a different ending, an ending that could put us all in dire straits.
What we all need are new leaders who will pursue the interests of the Filipino people first and foremost, before their own. Servant leaders are known for their unselfishness emanating from their love of their fellow men. These people are self-absorbed individuals whose earthly desires
Transcend whatever shred of love they have for the people.
The Filipino people needs another democratic revolution.