THE expulsion of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and two other officials from the ruling administration party “does not mean a thing.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte, as chairman of the ruling party, recognizes the leadership of Cusi as vice chairman of the PDP-Laban and does not even acknowledge Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s legitimacy as party president.
“It appears that he does not recognize it,” Roque said, in an apparent reference to the resolution issued by the Pacquiao-led national executive committee stating that Cusi and his deputies were kicked out from the party.
“All I could say is that President Duterte recognizes the leadership of Sec. Cusi,” said Roque, who hinted at Duterte as taking part in the PDP-Laban national assembly, which was called by Cusi to meet with party members in preparations for the May 2022 elections.
The Pacquiao-led faction earlier expelled Cusi, party acting secretary general Melvin Matibag, and membership committee head Astra Naik for supposedly pushing for the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio — who is not a member of PDP-Laban.
The committee accused the three officials of pledging allegiance to Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which supposedly violated the PDP-Laban Constitution.
Both Cusi and Matibag have since shrugged off the resolution kicking them out of the administration party. The two officials argued that the Cusi-led national council — and not the Pacquiao-led committee – has the power to impose sanctions on PDP-Laban members.