Senator Manny Pacquiao (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Oct 4 (Mabuhay) — The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi bared on Sunday that it “automatically expelled” Senator Manny Pacquiao from the party after the lawmaker pursued a presidential bid under PROMDI (Probinsiya Muna Development Initiative).

Pacquiao filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for President in Eleksyon 2022 on October 1, but under the PROMDI and not under the PDP-Laban.

The lawmaker has an ongoing rift with the Cusi-led wing.

Pacquiao’s running mate is Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza.

But PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag, a Cusi-wing ally, said this move is in violation of Section 6, Article VIII of the party’s Constitution which states that filing by a member of COC under another political party is a basis for expulsion.

“The PDP Laban National Executive Committee met on October 1 and a resolution was approved automatically expelling Senator Pacquaio from PDP Laban in accordance with the party constitution,” said Matibag in a statement sent to reporters.

“Senator Pacquiao claims that he is the legitimate President of PDP Laban and even called his own National Assembly where he accepted their so-called proclamation as presidential candidate and yet he is running for president under PROMDI. Let’s call a spade a spade. If that is not disloyalty, betrayal, and abandonment of PDP Laban, I don’t know what is,” he added.

The Cusi-led faction had filed a petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) asking the poll body to declare the faction of Pacquiao and his ally, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, as illegitimate. Pimentel also joined Pacquiao during the former’s filing of COC.

For Matibag, Pacquiao’s presidential bid under another party “only proves” the illegitimacy of the Pacquiao-Pimentel faction.

“Dito na makikita ng taong bayan na sila Sen. Pacquiao at Sen. Pimentel ay hindi talaga tumatalima sa Constitution ng PDP Laban at isinasantabi o ibinabasura lang ang boses ng nakakarami at totoong miyembro ng PDP Laban,” Matibag said.

The Pacquiao-Pimentel camp previously expelled Cusi, Matibag and PDP-Laban membership committee head Astra Naik over alleged violations of by-laws and Constitution.

On the Cusi faction’s petition before the poll body, the Pimentel-Pacquiao camp maintained that it is the legitimate PDP-Laban because its faction is “recognized by grassroots members and senior leaders” of PDP Laban. (MNS)

READ NEXT: Isko, Willie Ong file COCs for President, VP in Eleksyon 2022